Watchmen


Zack Snyder’s Watchmen  is more than a superhero movie as much as anyone would argue it is just that. Rather, it’s a story about normal people who take responsibility. A film about the fragility of our society, about acceptance and about the power of science. It’s base material is the comic books with the same name, written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons.

watchmen

We are taken to an alternate reality where United States of America won the Vietnam war, but where the threat of nuclear conflict is still as real as  it was during the history we know.

It all begins with the murdering of the Comedian, when an unknown individual breaks into his apartment. After this we take a visual journey back in time with what I call the most amazing use of a opening screen I have ever seen. The short flash-back explains us the present of the movie: in times of unrest, criminals could avoid punishment as they wore costumes and they could not be identified. A few lawmen will use the same trick in order to in order to make sure justice is served. And so, the group later known as Watchmen, is born.

In the present days of 1985, Rorschach is the last of the masked heroes that’s still active. Investigating the death of comedian, one of the colleagues with whom he fought crime back in the days, he concludes that there is a more serious threat. Not only the old group of heroes are in danger, but of humanity as a whole. To face this threat, the old gang must come out of retirement, with the risk of unraveling past secrets, so that they could save humankind.

The character that impressed me the most in this film was Dr. Manhattan, the only one in the group of heroes that has actual super powers. Following a bizarre accident during an experiment, scientist Jonathan Osterman receives a mysterious aura, as well as a blue pigmentation of his skin, along side with the ability to manipulate matter as he please. He also gets the ability to see the future. He becomes the main advantage USA has in it’s quest for World domination. At the same time, aware that the future is not too bright for humanity, he’s trying to find way out of the way of extinction.tumblr_ms5j4hQNsd1sqaqhdo2_500.gif

I will not give too many details further as everything else comes in as a surprise. As for me, Watchmen is a masterpiece, with a compelling story and a  mind-blowing  denouement, it climbed it’s way to my favorite movie of all time. I remember when I watched it for the first time, I stayed awake all night thinking about it.

What I really liked is that Zack Snyder took his time in order to tell the story exactly as he intended. So, If you decide to watch it take an entire evening for it and get enough popcorn as this movie lasts around 200 minutes, if you decide to see the ultimate director’s cut, which I strongly suggest.

About good games and wasting time.


When I was a kid I could only play Mario when my father wasn’t around. I was with my eyes stuck on the screen and my ears at the door, so I won’t get caught when he’d come home. He had something that seemed a weird idea about playing video games, my father, as he always told me to play chess or anything that’s not virtual. It was impossible for me to make a  difference. A game was just a game in my head. I thought my father was just old fashion. After all, I wasn’t going to play that stupid game he taught me, the one with some stupid beans on a cardboard. Especially if I was going to play it with him. I just wanted to escape reality, to get away and find out where is that damn princess.

When the console broke I found out about the public library and started reading. I had the constant feeling that I was born in the wrong place and time. I wanted to travel the stars, to sail unexplored seas and solve impossible mysteries. It was the time I discovered the The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle as well as when I got to meet Sherlock Holmes and share his adventures alongside Dr. Watson. It was the time I found myself friends with Jules Verne and Asimov, when I fell in love with J.J. Rousseau. I’m pretty sure I would have hated my childhood without books – my first peak outside the very religious circle I grew-up in. I have to say I knew little to nothing about how a computer worked, while kids in my class talked about Prince of Persia and Need for Speed. I had books and books were enough even if I read them stealthily as I knew I wasn’t allowed to read such blasphemous words.

But I am slightly deviating from the subject this article is supposed to have. I had my first PC back in 2006 and that was the moment I rediscovered video games. That was also the moment I started to read less and less which brought me to writing less to nothing. It was easier for me to just play hours and hours of FIFA and Counter Strike (I’m happy I haven’t found out about Broodwar back than). I want to make it clear that I am not against video games. I’m just looking back and realize I could have done so much more with my time. That being a gamer took more from me that it gave back.

The time you enjoy wasting it’s not wasted.

So they say. I will have to say I played Starcraft 2 for about 2 years. It made me crazy and it made me mad. I had become someone I never knew I was: spiteful and full of rage. I never really enjoyed playing Starcraft 2. But it was a game designed to make you want to play more. I am not against video games, I’m against games that are designed to be addictive – the kind of games that will make you ignore not reality, but the things that are important in your life – the people close to you, your health and your peace of mind. The simple fact of loving yourself as the person you are today and caring for the person you will become tomorrow. This is something you lose when you play the same game over and over again, either it’s DOTA2, LOL, Starcraft or HOTS. I don’t want to sound like a grandpa, after all not all not all people that drink alcohol become alcoholics.

I love stories. I read and write them and I play them. I love a game that tells a story so good that you feel you lived and extra life. I, for once, I saved the Galaxy and traveled the Universe. I’m thinking back at the times I played Mass Effect and I feel there’s something I won, that story is part of my life now and the characters are almost as real as long lost friends. I don’t want to draw a line that’s too thick and say this game is good, that game is bad. I’ve played a few games of Heroes of the Storm and the feeling I have while I think about it, is that the world is full of idiots. Sometime I just wait for the game to end and hope to get better team mates the next game. And they made that game so that there will always be a next game.

Your time is your most important thing you have. It’s all you have, really. I wrote this for myself first of all and I feel like I’ve learned the things I did, the hard way. Many of the people that will read this are or will be parents, they have someone or they will be in a relationship. Keep in mind what’s important, invest you time in the persons you love. Take interest in what your kids are watching or reading. If your kid has to hide from you to play a game, you kinda failed at being a parent. If you can’t wait for your girlfriend to leave so you can finally play some stupid game, you already failed at being in healthy relationship. I wrote this as a call for moderation. A call for reason. There is so much more you can be. Please be wise about your time as it is your most valuable asset. And as any valuable thing, there are people that will try and take it from you.

A dead man’s eye


This city feels tame. Silent and still – a dead man’s eye staring at the universe. The streets are cold in the night – a complex arrangement of decomposing words. The silence grows loud. It all feels like a dream: i’m a fly gazing the stars reflected on this lifeless cornea. My thousand eyes can see shadows, silhouettes from another time, like rats abandoning a disintegrating structure. Yet the dancing shadows are nothing but spiders, crawling from beneath, trying once again to weave their webs inside my mind. I shake my head to repel them from my thoughts. It’s been too long since they were nesting inside me, for too long I let them infect my essence. I am not my spiders, neither am I the fly stuck in the trap. I am not my shadow, I am not my fears, even if that it’s all you can see. This city is dying, but I will be far gone into the sunrise when it’s bones will crumble.

Memory 2.0 – A tale of love lost in the distant future


A tale of love lost in the distant future where people relive their fondest memories with virtual reality. Everything spins out of control for our Hero as the lines between reality and the virtual memories begin to blur. A film by  .

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Asimov’s Foundation to become an HBO series


It might be old news for some of you as this was announced in November 2014. I just came across the information and if I missed it for so long, I bet there are others who don’t know it yet.

Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy is being in development by HBO and it’s said to become a TV series. Foundation and HBO in the same sentence sounds great, right?  Add Jonathan Nolan, the mastermind behind Interstellar to this equation, and your brain might just explode out of excitement.

For those of you who do not know, the Foundation Trilogy is Isaac Asimov’s iconic work, often compared with the Dune series. It tells the story of Hari Seldon, a mathematician who has created the science of psychohistory by which it is possible to predict future events by extrapolating from historic trends. He is the one who realizes that The Galactic Empire is imperceptibly declining towards complete destruction. He creates a shadow organisation called the Foundation who’s purpose is to preserve the human civilization.

I’m so thrilled about this and the fact that HBO is behind the project makes me hopeful that they will save no money on the awesome CG this adaptation deserves. No other official news are available at this time but I will make sure to share with you any updates I might come across. Do you think that Foundation is a good choice for a TV series? What other sci-fi book or series do you think could make a perfect TV adaptation?

I can’t wait to see how they decide to present the city-planet of Trantor, the capital of the Galactic Empire. But until then, you can envision it in the art of Gouie, who’s amazing image I used in this post’s cover.

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Can you feel my season?


You felt  warm – for a second – my peace and my war.

You were the lioness, I was the king.

Did you forget who we were

or do you still dream of the Spring?

 

I held you – as we gazed at the stars, 

and I felt you fading away – that was a bummer.

Alone I walked through the Gardens of Mars 

and vainly I waited for Summer. 

 

The rays of my sadness were sharp as a knife,

you are a storm and I sank to the bottom.

Sick of the turmoil of this life

I covered myself with the leaves of your Autumn.

 

A tremble – cold as a snake – slowly creeps from inside –

you feel glacial, your nights ache like a splinter.

Tell me dear, surrendered to your pride,

can you deal with your Winter?

 

The Shaman


“The dark year 2204, in a world that has seen 73 years of continuous war. Recently mankind re-discovered the arts of Shamanism. The Shaman’s school of thought believes that every person or object has a soul. During battle Shamans step over into the Netherworld to find and convert the souls of their enemies’ giant battle machines. This tactic enables a single man to overcome an invincibly seeming steel monster.

This is the story of Joshua, a Shaman, who is sent on a mission to convert the soul of a giant battle colossus. He does not yet know that the soul is prepared for his coming and that the deadly psychological soul-to-soul confrontation in the Netherworld will be on eye level.”

A strange feeling


You wake up from a dreamless sleep and you find that to be inconvenient. You throw some water at your body while trying to figure out who you are and you hope that you’ll discover along the way. You wipe with the towel that smells like yesterday and then dress yourself with the same worn up clothes. You get out of the house and you walk as if you take somebody else’s steps. On the street dogs are barking and you remember that they never yap at a good man. It’s a strange feeling – to have the dogs remind you who you are. As if they know much.

The streets are wide and the city feels unfamiliar. You think it’s time for a change. A new beginning. You think not think about that. And yet you do. You decide to drag the same empty shell – your body – along the the city just a little longer, until the time you will remember you.

You get to work and the coffee that tastes like paper complements the bitter taste in your mouth. The others move around like robots, echoes made to remind you that you are alone in this world. You remember a time when your body seemed too small, a prison for your infinite spirit. It’s a strange feeling to be able to remember who you were so long ago but to lose sight of who you are now. And who will you be tomorrow.

It’s night and you seek your way to a place called home. Your steps are heavy, like a marionette with broken strings, whose sole purpose is to fill the shelves of a theater. The thought makes you shudder. You realize you’re the puppet and the puppeteer at the same time. That depends on you on you only to knot the threads and throw yourself back in the spectacles of this world.

You get home and you go to bed. Soon you sink into oblivion, that  inappropriate sleep without dreams. A doll who forgot itself on the shelf.

Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke


The year is 2131. The world is still shaken after the violent collision with a meteorite in 2077 when “the cities of Padua and Verona were wiped from the face of the Earth; and the last glories of Venice sank forever beneath the sea as the waters of the Adriatic came thundering landward after the hammer blow from space.”

Project SpaceGuard is now installed on Mars, with the purpose of identifying and cataloging space objects potentially hazardous to Earth. A strange object makes it’s appearance in our solar system and it is initially cataloged with a simple numeric name. But as it turns out that 31/439 is an artificial object of unknown origin the visitor received official name of Rama.

A mission to intercept the strange object is prepared in a hurry in order to explore the unexpected guest. Captain Norton and his crew of the Endeavour have only a few weeks to learn the secrets of the cylinder which is 50 kilometers long and 16 wide. Rama reveal it’s secrets as it approaches the Sun, filling the hearts of the human explorers with  fear, astonishment, admiration and finally love.

Arthur C. Clarke’s novel is written in an impeccable manner. Rendezvous with Rama is one of the few novels I’ve read twice and, acknowledge that, although I do not like to read the same book twice, I reread it even more avidly than I did the first time. Rendezvous with Rama was in fact among the first novels that made me to love science-fiction literature. It is a recommendation and a must for any avid science fiction reader. And for those who want to start reading science-fiction, Rendezvous with Rama seems to be a natural start, what makes you ask for more. There is no way you won’t fall in love with Arthur C. Clarke’s work after this one.