Go Watch Iron Sky!

Iron Sky Space Nazis

Finally, it is here… From the creators of Star Wreck, the best parody of Star Trek and Babylon 5, Iron Sky, the movie about space fucking Nazis!

The movie is supposed to be made in the style of Sin City and Inglorious Basterds. I love these alternate history movies, especially comedy action ones like this one. It kind of has that Mars Attacks! feel to it as well! ^_^ It also looks satirical sort of like Dr. Strangelove.

I like how Palin is the US President in this comedy, lol!

Iron Sky Nazi Invasion

The Top Cartoons From The 1990s

This list includes every cartoon I thought was great or totally amazing that started airing or were super popular in the 1990s. Let”s go over all of them in alphabetical order!

Aeon FluxAeon Flux

This was a really weird science fiction cartoon that was showed on MTV”s Liquid Television in the early 1990s. The show was about Aeon Flux, a female secret agent that was mixed up in a lot of conspiracies, a war with a neighboring country, assassinations, betrayal, cloning, and a bunch of other crazy plots. The entire cartoon was a complete mind fuck.

The feeling this show gave me was similar to the feeling I get from the Paranoia RPG and Brazil. Pretty much, it”s a totally fucked up distopian future where you are either a drone or you are involved in sinister greater forces that control and rule everything and keep everyone oppressed. Life is cheap and everybody is replaceable.

The way this cartoon was drawn and the bizarre style of it reminded me a lot of the comics that would come out in Heavy Metal magazine. A lot like the style of those weird french graphic novels from the 80s and 90s.

There aren”t a lot of episodes of this show. I remember renting the whole show on VHS back when those existed, so you have an idea how short it is.

There was a live action movie that was a remake of the show. It was okay. Most people either liked it or flat out hated it.

AnimaniacsAnimaniacs

This was Steven Spielberg”s next cartoon character after having made the hugely successful Tiny Toon Adventures. The show was like watching a cartoon version of The Marx Brothers. The entire cartoon was about two brothers and a sister going around trolling everybody they met. The show also introduced Pinky And The Brain, a cartoon that was about an idiot mouse that is always trying to help a super genius mouse “try to take over the world!” The Brain sounded a lot like Orson Welles. Pink And The Brain were probably my favorite characters from the show.

The main storyline for this insane show was that Yakko, Wakko, and Dot were 1930s cartoons characters that got trapped in the water tower of the Warner Bros Studios and were finally released to mess with the world in the 1990s. There were other sketches with other characters such as The Goodfeathers. The Goodfeathers were a parody of the gangsters from the movie Goodfellas except that they were a bunch of pigeons. They were great, even impersonating Joe Pesci”s characters that usually go ape shit over everything. There was also Slappy Squirrel which was a bitter old cartoon character that would put people in their place while trying to teach those values to her nephew Skippy Squirrel.

Batman BeyondBatman Beyond

Think Batman meets cyberpunk Shadowrun and this is pretty much what the show is. It”s set in the future. Bruce Wayne is old, has heart conditions, and is slowly dying. Everybody that Bruce Wayne worked with either hates him or is dead. What ends up happening is that Bruce Wayne can no longer be Batman. For a while he”s already used a power armor kind of Batsuit but even that doesn”t prevent him from having heart attacks while fighting crime. So… some kid that has a situation like Bruce gets picked up to be the next Batman.

The show is almost not even a kids show as people (rarely) die in this show but at least there is death. If you are a fan of the other Batman cartoons then you need to follow the chain of history by watching this show. The sad part is that this show got cancelled, probably because of the violence and dark tones, but if you really want to see how all of Batman ends, I urge you to watch Justice League”s “Epilogue” episode. That ends all of Batman, forever. It is simply the best thing ever written for Batman.

Anyways, back to Batman Beyond… The Joker is dead and so are many of the old villains since it”s the year 2039. Instead of having The Joker, you have The Joker street gang and other characters based on themes from the past as well as some of them returning. The new villains are insanely more powerful than classic Batman villains, some of them being to the scale of power that it would take Superman or the Justice League to bring them down.

There are movies of the show, and they are all worth watching.

Since youtube restricts it, I can”t embed the intro, so here”s the link to it instead (open in a new tab).

Batman The Animated SeriesBatman: The Animated Series

This is a cartoon that was so good that I would stop doing anything to watch. This set the bar for me for what everything comic book related should be for the rest of time. Batman The Animated Series is so damn good that it makes everything else Batman look like shit, and I am including the Tim Burton and Chris Nolan movies. Now, yeah, that might be going a little bit too far but for a cartoon this is simply ART. The music along with the drawings along with the voice acting and writing makes for a perfect cartoon. This IS the Dark Knight. The writing is so good that I often remember quotes from the show. “How much is a good night”s rest? Now there”s a riddle for you…” and many more.

This cartoon is what and are based on.

This cartoon is so good that each episode has its own unique soundtrack written for it. The level of writing are just as good as the original Twilight Zone series. You MUST watch it.

Again, youtube doesn”t allow embedding so just open in a new tab, the HD 1080p version of the Batman Intro.

Darkwing DuckDarkwing Duck

Darkwing Duck was a spinoff from DuckTales and it was sort of like a comical parody of superheroes, especially Batman. This takes place in the DuckTales universe, even having Launchpad MacQuack as his sidekick, the really bad pilot from DuckTales that always crashes everything that he pilots. Just think of it like a light hearted Batman except that his parents didn”t get murdered and that he has to take care of a bratty daughter Gosalyn Mallard. I remember any time that there would be action he would always say his catchphrase: “Let”s get dangerous!”

This cartoon was really popular in the early to mid 90s especially when DuckTales was still around.

Dilbert TV SeriesDilbert

This was an amazing comedy show based on the incredible make-fun-of-working comic strip Dilbert. The show was as funny as the strip but I could tell it was probably doomed from the start since it would show on UPN. Like it was totally marketed incorrectly, on the wrong network for this show. It would probably done really well on Fox or Cartoon Network or on Adult Swim but then again this was the 1990s, not 5-10 years later. Still, they should have at least gone with Fox, although Fox kills most of all of its good shows (like Family Guy and Futurama).

If you don”t know what Dilbert is, it”s about showing how crappy it is to work in a corporate cubicle farm culture. The boss is a moron/asshole, everybody does anything they can in order to do the least amount of work and get paid the least. You know, just like in real life?

If you like the strip, just watch the show to see the cartoon version. You can see all the episodes of Dilbert on youtube via Crackle. Here is the link to the first episode.

Eek The CatEek The Cat

Eek The Cat was the perfect cartoon created by Savage Steve Holland which was intended for kids with ADD and to make fun of pop culture. The whole show was about Eek the Cat which was the nicest cat ever and he would always get hurt for trying to do the right thing. Pretty much every episode was about that. There was this dog, Sharky the Sharkdog which was always trying to bite Eek at every opportunity. “It never hurts to help” was what Eek would always say and then the worst things would happen to him, always physically. He had this horribly fat cat girlfriend called Annabelle that was morbidly obese and disgusting. Despite that he always loved her.

To me this show was infinitely superior to shows that came afterwards like Spongebob Squarepants.

Exo SquadExoSquad

This is the pinnacle of 90s cartoons as far as rare cartoons go. I would say only Batman was as good as this cartoon. This is the ultimate space opera cartoon. It shows real war with people dying, the “good guys” not always winning, racism, terrorism, megalomania, etc. It was hard to watch this cartoon because they would always air it randomly, sometimes skipping episodes. I had the same problem with Babylon 5 because my parents never had cable so I would have to guess what I had missed.

The show is the ultimate parable made on World War 2. A lot of people die and you see things like crimes against humanity and cruelty. Shocking for a publicly aired cartooon.

Anyways, this show is probably one of my highest recommended shows in GENERAL to watch of all time. I like it enough that I run the main facebook fan page for it. Fortunately for us, although the show is dead, we can see the entire show for free here at hulu.

Start watching it and don”t stop until you saw it all. Only season 1 is available on DVD because Universal doesn”t care much for this show. 🙁

Family GuyFamily Guy

This show started off in the late 90s and it”s still on the air after having been cancelled many times. Personally I think the first seasons of the show were much funnier than the current seasons, since they seem to keep changing writers all the time and lately they”ve been relying too much on recycling internet jokes. Even the writers of the show make fun of how much the show has become like their spinoff show American Dad and there was even The Cleveland Show which was just SHIT.

Anyways, everybody knows what Family Guy is. It”s as famous as The Simpsons and Futurama. If you don”t know what Family Guy is, it”s nice to finally have met a time traveler or I”m glad that you”re awake from your coma.

FuturamaFuturama

Here is a show that was created by Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons, that was superior (for geeks) to The Simpsons. The show is a LOT like Red Dwarf but even crazier because you can pretty much draw everything but Red Dwarf was limited by its budget. This show too had problems with it getting cancelled but it”s coming back again.

There are various movies of Futurama and they”re all worth watching.

The show is about this loser that gets frozen in cryogenic containment and he wakes up in the year 3000. The show is insanity having characters like the Santa Claus robot that kills everybody that”s been naughty and that means everybody. The aliens in the show are disgusting often eating garbage or they”re deadly or they”re just weird. Anyways, the loser Fry goes to work for an interstellar shipping company that”s run by an incompetent (not evil) genius Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth.

The show belongs in the comedy science fiction category alongside Red Dwarf. I highly recommend it.

Gargoyles
King of the Hill
Men in Black: The Series
Mighty Max
Muppet Babies
Pokemon
Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles
Sabrina the Animated Series
South Park
Spawn
Superman: The Animated Series
TaleSpin
Taz-Mania
The Maxx
The Simpsons
The Tick
Tiny Toon Adventures
X-Men

TRON Movie Review

TRON original poster
Tron original poster

TRON movie review

“Greetings program!”

What’s really going on?

The movie is about a company that’s being secretly run by an A.I. which eats other programs and keeps gaining functions and intelligence. Even the CEO of the company, Dillinger, is controlled by the A.I. called the Master Control Program (MCP). The MCP analyses the internal network of the company, Encom, as well as hacks into other companies’ networks, and government networks, even military networks for the US and the Russians. Think of the MCP as the grandfather of Skynet. The MCP keeps growing more each day. At times it reminded me of Colossus from the movie Colossus: The Forbin Project. The MCP can even talk, like Colossus can, in the later part of that movie.

One of the heroes of the movie is a hacker Flynn, who keeps sending programs he writes to try to infiltrate the company but they keep getting caught and deleted. Everything that we make happen in the real world through computers, has an analogical parallel in the world of computers. Alan, a programmer that still works at Encom is having problems at the company because the MCP confiscated his security clearance and he can no longer work on TRON, a security program that Alan created, which monitors internal and external network activities and transactions.

Flynn used to be one of the top hotshot programmers at Encom but Dillinger canned him after he screwed him over, stealing the copyright to arcade hits that Flynn authored, but Dillinger put his name on. Ever since then Flynn has been trying to hack into the Encom network to try to get the original source code for his games that show his signature on the code, as well as any other dirt on Dillinger.

After getting his access suspended Alan goes to see his girlfriend Lora, which happens to be Flynn’s exgf. Alan tells her how Dillinger (nobody knows the MCP is running Encom, except Dillinger) suspended his security access, crippling his work. Lora convinces Alan for them to go talk to Flynn because he would be able to do more damage from the inside of the corporate HQ as opposed to dialing in through a dial up modem to try to hack the network. Flynn, despite having written many arcade games which made Encom a megacorp, runs his own arcade. After Flynn explains how Dillinger screwed him, he gives Lora and Alan the idea for them to sneak him into the Encom building so that he can forge a new security ID and retrieve the data that would prove Flynn is the original author of those games, as well as would get Dillinger thrown out of the company.

Dillinger is enough of an asshole that you see him arguing with Walter, one of the original founders of the company. The argument ends with Walter saying that “sometimes I wish I were back in my garage”, where he was when the movie was a start-up. Dillinger replies “That can be arranged, Walter” and “Don’t worry about Encom anymore. It’s out of your hands now.”

Lora and Walter both work in a department for Encom that has been developing digitalization. Basically, digitalization entails using a special beam, a laser, which translates matter into data. This kind of technology would allow near instant global travel and shipping. Think about it. Even back then you could call places internationally. Imagine how this would allow global teleportation over the speed of the internet.

Lora sets Flynn up to do his hacking in her workplace, which happens to be in front of the digitizing laser. The MCP tries to dissuade Flynn from his hacking but Flynn just laughs at him. “Remember the time we used to spend playing chess together?” The MCP threatens Flynn that he’s going to put him on “the game grid” buy Flynn laughs again. That is when the MCP fires the digitizing laser and turn Flynn (a user, a god in the computer world) into data in the computer world. See, all the things that get digitized appear into the computer world that I mentioned is paralleled to actions by computers and electronics earlier. This is when the movie starts.

Concepts that will help you understand this movie better:

Users, in other words US, are gods to programs. Programs look like avatars of their authors or users, depending on the story of the movie or whoever uses them the most or has influence on them. The last part I believe the most as a theory, since the Users are their deities. It’s also illegal on the network of the MCP to worship Users.

Video games are all gladiatorial battles for survival. They can represent playing actual video games on this world and forcing programs and pixels to die for us, as well as program battles between different pieces of code trying to delete each other or hack each other across different computer systems. I believe that most programs killed in the video games get absorbed by the MCP.

There’s a religious war and a guerilla war happening inside the Encom network. Believers in the Users are all sent to die in the video game arenas. Non-MCP-approved programs that have been caught spying around are also sent to die in the arenas.

When program die (get deresed [deresolution]) they stop existing, either becoming part of the MCP if they were killed by it or they break apart, freeing up the resources that made them up, releasing energy in the computer world. In the real world, such a death would be freeing up storage capacity (whether floppies, tape drive, or hard drive space, considering that this movie takes place in the 80s) as well as RAM for local systems where they ran and processing power.

The music:

Of electronic music fame and even more so for the soundtrack of A Clockwork Orange, Wendy Carlos created an even more unique soundtrack for TRON.

Here is one of my favorite songs from the movie, Sea of Simulation:

The soundtrack is both tenseful and sounds very electronic, which goes along great with the unique atmosphere of the movie and the TRON universe. I loved the soundtrack enough that I bought the original CD for it.

The visuals:

Although TRON came out during the same year as Blade Runner, this movie was the most advanced movie to have pure computer generated visual effects. The feel of the movie is completely unique.

To explain the wonder of how they created this world, I would recommend reading the wikipedia entry.

How the world saw it and its effect:

Many critics did not understand this movie. The typical movie goer did not understand it either. There’s even a joke in an episode of the Simpsons where Homer shifts into a 3D world where stuff looks like TRON. They ask him what it’s like and he says “Has anybody seen TRON?” Nobody understood what he was talking about.

Many techs and science fiction fans did however get the movie back then and as the movie gets older, it’s easier for us to understand it even more because unlike most sci-fi movies, which usually age badly, TRON gets more realistic as time goes on. Sure, the technology might be primitive but most of the concepts of what’s going on in relation of the computer world to the real world make perfect sense today.

Although I didn’t see this movie until around 1988-1989, and I had already considerable interest in computers, this movie further cemented that passion. This has happened to many of my computer friends. This similar like of the film and its vision of the future/present was even shared by avid sci-fi fans that are not necessarily computer people.

The actors:

Flynn is played by Jeff Bridges. He does a great role, playing a much more smartass version of what would later be “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski but with a geeky, hotshot twist to his character.

TRON/Alan is Bruce Boxleitner. He does a great job, especially as TRON. He’s a dedicated warrior on a mission to take down the MCP on the orders from his User Alan. What’s interesting is that Bruce Boxleitner was later Captain Sheridan in Babylon 5, along with Peter Jurasik, which was Crom in TRON, one of the gladiators that Flynn has to duel against. Peter Jurasik is one of my favorite actors of all time, especially for his role in Babylon 5 for his role as Ambassador Londo Mollari. J. Michael Straczynski must have been a big fan of TRON.

David Warner plays the roles of Dillinger, Sark (the lieutenant of the MCP), and the voice of the MCP. He does such an amazing job, especially as Sark. Many scenes in the movie are pretty powerful, especially when things go wrong for Sark and he gets angry and violent. The look of rage in his eyes is really well captured. David Warner has been in a lot of movies and even does voices for cartoons (such as in Batman’s Raz Al Ghul).

Cindy Morgan plays the role of Lora/Yori. Cindy Morgan is just so yummy. Thinking of her as either the geeky Lora in those nerd glasses, coding away, designing lasershas been like my doom, as that would be my ideal girlfriend/soulmate. She even looks super cute with her hair covered as Yori, and a girl without some hair is usually a deal breaker for me. Just thinking of her makes me want to make nerd babies with a Lora/Yori/Cindy Morgan clone! Anyways…

Dan Shor plays a most memorable Ram. Ram is just a poor program which somehow wound up in the Encom network, probably kidnapped by the efforts of the MCP. Originally, he was an accounting program for an insurance company. He’s skinny, and weak, and a really nice guy. Dan Shor does such a good job portraying the best character in the movie.

Tron 2.0 and Tron Legacy:

Although the sequel to TRON, Tron Legacy is coming out near the holidays this 2010, in 2003 a really great FPS game came out on computer by the name of Tron 2.0. See, I was never expecting anything like Tron Legacy to happen, especially since I read years ago that some people in Disney were bitter about having paid to get TRON made. However, Tron 2.0 was made and that was even better than TRON!

I’m sure that the movie studios will just ignore the existence of Tron 2.0, although based on the latest teaser trailer, it does seem to take a bit from it.

I will try to find my original copy of Tron 2.0 and put out a review for you guys. The game is extremely hard to find these days. It’s been out of print for a while and even the pirated version is impossible to get. If you have it, consider its value. If you know somebody that has it, I urge you to play it!

The teaser trailer for Tron Legacy is the following:

The original trailer is better, I think. Click here, since the embedding is disabled, to see it.

Based on the trailers, the main character is probably Flynn’s kid, and Flynn which has been “dead for years” is now the new MCP. Who knows how time differentiates on the computer world vs the real world. Oh yeah, Wendy Carlos is out for this one, Daft Punk is in. Although I like the music of Wendy Carlos, the Daft Punk sound might fit in well, especially since they are probably fans of the original film.

Conclusion:

TRON is a milestone sci-fi computer movie. The franchise is coming back to life in the era of District 9 and Avatar. I always think that times of recession are great times for science fiction and horror. Sci-fi makes people think about problems other than their real lives. Horror has the violence that people crave in times of trouble. But enough of my theories… go watch the movie. And look below for some pictures from the movie!

Pictures from TRON:

The trio of programmers in the real world
Alan, Flynn, and Lora
Flynn the hotshot
Flynn the hotshot!
Tron – Evil Sark
Evil Sark!
Tron – Ram my buddy
Ram, my buddy!
Tron and Yori together
Tron and Yori together
Tron – Lora the prototype for a perfect girlfriend
Lora, the prototype for a perfect girlfriend!
Tron – Yori on the Light Sailer
Yori on the Light Sailer
Tron – Cindy Morgan is perfection
Cindy Morgan is perfection!