BSG Season Three On DVD

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Universal today announced the release of the third season of Battlestar Galactica on DVD for March 25th. This seems to be consistent with the speculation that the delay of the season’s DVD release would be to promote the show’s fourth — and final season — which begins airing in April.

One episode — Unfinished Business — will also have an “exclusive cut”, extended by twenty-five minutes (sort of like “Pegasus” on the s2 v2 box set), part of the fifteen hours of extras. The MSRP is $60, which means Amazon should have it for $45.

HT: TVShowsonDVD.com

Pirates of the Crappean: When Does This DVD End?!?!?

I hated the first sequel to one of the greatest adventure movies ever: Pirates of the Caribbean. Great film. Loved it. Everything from the fact that it actually had a story to the score and the coreographed sword fights, I couldn’t find much to dislike in the first movie — and this, to me, was a pleasant surprise. A movie based on the Disneyland ride? How good could it be? How much money did they have to pay to get Johnny Depp to agree to it?

And then the first sequel came out, and I figured, “Eh, I’ll chance spending my money on it in theaters.” Surprise surprise: it was a lousy movie. Hated it. When the third — and, please god may it be the last film — came out, I decided I’d wait until I could rent it on Netflix. While I had to wait for it to move availability from “Very Long Wait” to “Now.”

So, here’s the best part of the movie: Murtogg & Mullroy, the redcoats who served as comic-relief for the British side, are back. Except they’re wearing black uniforms now, and they aren’t utilized nearly as much as they could’ve been (glorified cameos, really). And this is too bad, because if they’d been used a bit more, the movie might not’ve been suckfucktastic.

Hollywood, although I know that you’d never read this blog, and if you did, you’d never value my opinion over that of the almighty dollar, please stop making sequels to movies that didn’t need them in the first place.

At World’s End suffers from what I like to call “Buffyverse Syndrome”, where everyone — good guy, bad guy — turns out to be on the same side in the very end. I mean, check it: Spike, the big bad in Buffy’s 2nd season, was not only a good guy by the end of the show’s run, he was knocking his vampiric boots with the Slayer! So, in this trilogy it’s a little different: pirates are the “good” guys. By the end of the first film, Will & Elizabeth and Gov. Swann all seem to hold some admiration for Sparrow, and Norrington has enough respect for the guy to give him half a day’s head start. Flash forward to the third film where everyone is throwing their lot in for the pirates. Norrington dies helping to escap a herd of the filthy lot*, and even the common British soldiers are throwing themselves from their ships and disguising themselves with the pirate crew, in some attempt of solidarity.

The only bad guys who really die are the ones introduced in the second film — the wanker from the EIC and Davy Jones –, because, apparently, everyone from the first (with the exception of Gov. Swann, who apparently dies at some un-included scene in the third) is so wonderfully loved that the audience couldn’t possibly stand any of them dying … or, at least, dying without making it known that they’ve chosen the “right” side after all. Even Barbossa, the big bad from the first film (resurrected in the second, and no less despicable in the third), gets a Willie Coyote ending: sure, Sparrow foils him, but he’s free-free-free to try again.

Anyway. I’m not going to go so far as to say this movie is better than Live Free or Die Hard. Because, really, if they’d thrown a few “Yippie-Cayee Motherfuckers!” into this film, it only would’ve made it that much better.

*With the notable exception of Ms. Keira Knightley, certainly one of the most beautiful pirates ever!

RIP Benazir Bhutto

By now, anyone who pays even bare attention to the news is probably aware that Benazir Bhutto, lead of the political opposition in Pakistan, was assassinated early this morning after a combined shooting/suicide bomb attack.

Leaving aside the alleged corruption in her past — and possibly drinking freely of the kool-aid on CNN — I very much hope that Benazir Bhutto was what the media and her supporters says she was: a bold, brave woman willing to risk her life in her quest for a secular, democratic Pakistan.

While we’ve got politicians vying for their respective party nominations here in the States, preaching their platforms from the relative safety of an Iowa school or a New Hampshire town hall, Bhutto came out of exile and returned to a country to run for a third term as Prime Minister, knowing full well the risks she faced, in order to see her country securely democratic. It’s refreshing to see such courage from a politician, a courage in the vein of some of this country’s own founders, who risked their lives rebelling from the British Crown if their revolution failed.

May you find in death the peace that escaped you in life, Benazir Bhutto.

Get Lost

Having just recently finished watching the third season (thank goodness for whoever invented TV on DVD), I’m giggling with anticipation, although disappointed that because of the studios’ inability to offer a fair share to the striking writers, LOST’s fourth season will be eight episodes (as opposed to the scheduled sixteen).

LoTekGalactica

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DVICE (formerly SciFi.com’s tech blog) knocks Battlestar Galactica for being so decidedly low-tech. Yes, but that’s one of the reasons why I love the show so much: since the technology, for the most part (excluding the, y’know, FTL engines), is so decidedly unmagical, the show tends to ignore the cheap outs and deus ex machinas of other sci-fi shows (unlike the detested Star Trek Voyager whose crew couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag without a tricorder).

Getting Out Of The Holiday Mood

There’s nothing better than being stuck in traffic with an old lady behind you leaning on her horn giving you dirty looks to kick you right out of the holiday season mood and right into “Where’d I leave my cleaver?” fever.

If you’re familiar with Hunt Valley, you’re probably familiar with the Gucci Giant shopping center at York & Shawan Roads. There are two entrances: one on York Road (exiting here, you can only go north), and another at the light at the intersection. Entering from the intersection, a lane runs down with three entrances/exits into the parking lot. The first is right past the Bank of America (a standalone building at the top of the center), the second is right before the Giant Food, which anchors the north point of the “L” shaped center, the third is located past Giant. From here, you can enter a VERY small lot along Giant’s side, and this also serves as an entry point for delivery trucks servicing the center.

It was my plan to drive to this third point and park in the small lot. This makes, I’ve found, getting out of the center far easier. However, when I entered that lane, I found an SUV stopped at the first entry. Why was it stopped? Because the traffic lights are timed like shit, traffic was backing up into the lot trying to get out. People trying to get into the lane from the first entry are pretty much screwed, and one person, impatient and unwilling to wait, had pulled her car out into the lane, hoping someone would let her in. No one had, and so she was stuck until the light turned green. Meanwhile, the SUV she was blocking couldn’t go anywhere, and neither could I.

No big deal. Just had to wait a couple of minutes for the light to turn green, and once traffic got moving, she’d be on her way and so would the SUV and I.

And then the hag entered the shopping center and came right up on me, honking before she’d even stopped and shooting me the dirtiest looks I’ve ever seen on Christmas. It was like I’d kicked in her front door and butchered Santa Clause as he stepped out of the chimney, disembowling the jolly present giver in front of her grandkids, then mashing his balls into a testicle soup and force-feeding them to her pet pillow-dog, before ass raping the dog and shoving it down the garbage disposal. I tried to give her the “shrug” to convey the message, “Lady, what do you want me to do here?” but she just kept on honking.

I know what was going through her mind: “Hurry Up! I have to park and hurry to get into the store so I can be a geriatric cunt bitch and take five hours slowly pushing my shopping cart through Giant fucking Food slowing down the other customers and staff and generally being a bitch.”

Finally, when her honking reached the point where I wanted to smash her head into her steering wheel a few thousand times, I cut the steering wheel sharp to the right and managed to squeeze my car between the curb and the SUV. Before completing the move, I made sure to turn around in my seat and give the old lady a big beautiful view of my middle finger.

She was, at this point, too busy honking at the SUV to be outraged.

Why was I at Giant? Because my bank has a branch in the store, and I needed to make a deposit and get a roll of quarters. Next time, I’ll go at 7am where the batfuck insane geriatric fucks too wrapped up in their own delusional views of their own self importance are still, hopefully, in bed, where their delusional batfucking isn’t making my borderline homicidal on Christmas Eve.

After making this deposit, I was going to go to Bruce Lee’s for lunch (for my money, the best General Tso’s chicken on the York Road corridor in Baltimore County), but considering that it’s located in a shopping center with another grocery store and their parking lot is probably overpopulated with geriatric assholes, fuck it: I’ll have scrambled eggs, toast and beer instead.

I’m going to find a radio station playing Christmas music and relax.

Black Men With Guitars

When selecting my cousin Will’s birthday gift, I had a vague notion of what to get him. He’s a big fan of music: in his bedroom, he’s got a record player and stacks of records and CDs. I should’ve paid more attention to the selections when I was up in November for Thanksgiving, but all I could remember when I was pacing the music section of Border’s in Lutherville (a far more convenient location than their previous in Towson) was a trend towards 60s stuff. Alas! No Dylan biography was in stock, neither was “Will You Remember Me When I’m Gone?”, about the Carter family.

Finally, I figured on what I considered a relatively safe bet: a bio of Jimi Hendricks. At least, that’s who I had in mind, but apparently I’d been looking at a book on Bob Marley, too, because that’s the one I found in the bag when I bothered to unpack it the next morning. Whoops. I figured Marley wouldn’t appeal to Will, and here I entirely chalk it up to my general ignorance of music, because reggae didn’t quite seem to mix with the rock/folk I was associating Will’s music taste with. As for taking the Marley book over the Hendricks, I chalked it up to “I’m a stupid white boy who can’t distinguish one black guy with a guitar from the other.”

Unable to yet track down my receipt, I’ve still got the Marley book at home. I went back out to Borders, picked up the Hendricks book, wrapped it while slightly drunk last night, then discovered to my amazement that the Hendricks book was the hit of the gift giving this evening (all the while still feeling stupid enough that I intended to buy a Hendricks book and wound up with a Marley). Even Uncle Bill, who I thought would’ve been digging in to the two-part Churchill bio, was paying more attention to the Hendricks bio, and my dad related a story about how he learned Jimi H. died: a student walked into the room sad, wrote “JIMI HENDRICKS IS DEAD” on the blackboard, then sat down. “Oh, you could tell he was sad Hendricks was dead … but also really proud he was the one to give us all the news.”

But here’s the kicker: when we arrived in Scranton today, the cousins had arrived about forty minutes before us. And what was Will wearing? A black t-shirt that urged “LISTEN TO BOB MARLEY.”

Well. At least I’ve got his Christmas gift for NEXT year.

Recipe For Disaster

Sadly, I was slightly too inebriated to accept an invitation to Padonia Station for a couple of drinks. Why was I inebriated? Well, primarily because my evening’s plans were to wrap Christmas gifts (and that’s a task that can only be made less painful by drinking). I half succeeded, by which I both mean my presents could be described as “half wrapped”, and that I’ve only wrapped the gifts I’ll be exchanging this weekend, in Scranton, during the “extended family Christmas” (the folks, the sister and I will exchange gifts Christmas Day*).

Since the extended family doesn’t read this blog (as far as I know), here’s the loot I’m bringin':

Grandma: A selection of holiday coffees from Baltimore Coffee & Tee in Timonium.
Aunt Peggy: Beauty & The Beast, The Complete Second Season
Uncle Bill: The Last Lion Vol I & II (Winston Churchill biography) by William Manchester
Uncle Bill & Aunt Anne: Half a case of Natty Boh
Aunt Anne: A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon
Cousin Maggie: Wise Children by Angela Carter
Cousin Will: Roomful of Mirrors (Jimi Hendricks bio) by Charles Cross

I enjoy giving books. My sister isn’t getting a book — if she hasn’t figured out what she’s getting this year, she hasn’t been paying attention to the last two Christmases.

They’re wrapped (eh, sorta) and waiting in a Kleins Market grocery bag to be transported to the back of my parents’ Camry when they arrive tomorrow morning to pick me up. Although I’d love to break my Matrix in on a road trip, I won’t mind allowing my parents’ to pay for the gas (I’m cheap). I still need to pack my overnight bag. This trip to Scranton will be different, as well: we’re staying in a hotel, along with the cousins. Bill’s dad (himself a Bill) recently sold the home he’d owned since coming home from the Pacific in 1945, and in the past, Dad & I had stayed there while Bill & Will while the women stayed at Peg’s. Still not sure quite what the bunking arrangements are going to be, but I hope the hotel has WiFi.

*Assuming we like each other enough after nine hours in a car over the weekend.

EZ Pass

New Toyotas run in the family: my mom was in an accident a couple of months ago and my parents bought a new Camry to replace the wrecked one (old guy fell asleep at the wheel and rammed my mom’s car into a sidewall. Luckily, she was okay). Then I hit a deer and replaced my Celica with a Matrix.

So, here’s a question: for those of you who’ve transferred an E-ZPass box from one car to another. My parents have theirs in the center console, but I’d like to mount mine back on the windshield. Will any store bought velcro strips be strong enough to hold the thing in place? Or is there a way to get replacement velcro from the E-ZPass administration?

Of all the problems and paperwork involved in replacing a vehicle, this has got to be the most minor.