Game of Thrones Music Vid – Original Lyrics and Acting

I love this vid.  The parody lyrics are perfect.  The fan actors are good to OK, but the creativity involved at all levels are just stunning.  The lyrics are perfect, the editing is awesome, and the acting is good.  And I like the originality.  Go support these guys – this certainly took some work!

Usual Disclaimer:  Didn’t make it, just found it!

 

Justice League The Flashpoint Paradox

  • Title:  Justice League The Flashpoint Paradox
  • Director:  Jay Oliva
  • Voice Director:  Andrea Romano
  • Date:  2013
  • Studio:  Warner Brothers Animation
  • Genre:  Animation, Action, Fantasy
  • Cast:  Justin Chambers, C. Thomas Howell, Michael B. Jordan, Kevin McKidd, Kevin Conroy, Sam Daly, Dana Delany, Cary Elwes, Nathan Fillion, Ron Perlman
  • Format:  Color, Widescreen
  • DVD Format:  R1, NTSC

“They’re motivated by greed.  They lack the commitment, the absolute focus…” – Professor Zoom (Reverse Flash)
“…to kill me.” – Flash
“To erase you.” – Professor Zoom (Reverse Flash)

“Brake the sound barrier and there’s a sonic boom. You broke the time barrier, Flash, time boom. Ripples of distortion out from the point of impact, shifting everything just a tiny bit – but enough. Enough for events to happen slightly differently.” – Professor Zoom (Reverse Flash)

Justice League The Flashpoint Paradox starts with what we quickly realise is a flashback or memory. Young Barry Allen and his mother are stranded at the side of the road with a broken car.  Another car passes but fails to stop to help them.  Barry is incensed that the person in the car didn’t care enough to do what’s right and stop to help them.  Nora, Barry’s mother, urges him to not worry about it – then spots a gas station close by, they decide to walk there to find a phone.

The next flashback finds Barry coming home from school – only to find that his mother has been killed.

In the present, Barry and his wife, Iris are putting flowers on his mother’s grave. Barry expresses his regret that he wasn’t there to save his own mother.  He and Iris are interrupted when Barry gets an emergency call, there’s been a break-in at the Central City Flash Museum.  As Flash, Barry arrives and confronts The Top, Mirror Master, and eventually Captain Cold, Captain Boomarang, and Heat Wave.  It soon becomes obvious that the person in charge of the break in is Eoband Thawne, aka Professor Zoom, aka the Reverse Flash.  He uses the distraction of the Rogues Gallery attack to place small but powerful bombs on each Rogue as well as on Flash.  He also traps Flash in a gooey substance he can’t escape.  Flash manages to trap Professor Zoom, but he can’t get free.  The Justice League arrives, and each takes a Rogue to get rid of the bombs, without hurting anyone.  The various plans that each Justice Leaguer uses, work and all the bombs are destroyed harmlessly and the Rogues sent back to prison.  Meanwhile, Flash is still trapped.  Professor Zoom taunts Flash, but Flash manages to disarm the explosives on himself and Thawne.

Next, Barry wakes at his desk.  He’s a little confused by the news headline on his computer screen – and even more confused when he exits the building and meets his mother.  Things go from bad to worse, as Flash realises he’s in an alternative world that never had a Flash.  A world that’s in the midst of War.  Barry goes to the Wayne Mansion just outside Gotham City – but the place is a wreck.  He gets inside the Batcave and meets Batman – a very violent Batman, who uses guns, and has no problem with killing.  Barry quickly realises that this Batman is Thomas Wayne, and it was Bruce who died That Fateful Night.  To make matters worse, the death of her son, and seeing her husband become a violent vigilante has turned Mrs. Wayne into the Joker.  Though it takes some doing, Barry not only convinces Thomas that his world is “all wrong” – he convinces him they have to re-create the experiment that turned Barry into the Flash.  The resulting scene brings to mind various filmed versions of Frankenstein.  The first try fails, But, the second try works.  The Flash, however, is unable to get enough speed and theorizes there’s another speedster out there also tapping into the “speed force”.

Since using his own power won’t work, Barry’s next idea is to ask for Superman’s help.  Batman tells him, though, this world has no Superman.  Barry, however, from his own nightmares of the divergent timelines, gets an idea.  Batman calls in Cyborg, who works directly for the US Government, and convinces him to hack every computer system he can, looking for information.  Eventually Thomas Wayne/Batman convinces Cyborg to hack government and military records.  This leads them to find a warehouse that holds the little baby rocket from Krypton.  Superman is locked-up, and very weak because he’s been kept in a room with red light and hasn’t experienced the Earth’s yellow sun. Batman, Flash, and Cyborg break Superman out of the military cell.

In Europe, which has been flooded by Aquaman, then taken over by Queen Diana and the Amazons, Lois Lane is about to be killed by Amazons.  She’s rescued by the Resistance, another group of Heroes, like Cyborg’s group.  Lois swears she saw a yellow-clothed speedster, but the Resistance Group tells her that no speedster works with them. When Batman sees the footage, he tells Flash, who realises it’s Dr. Zoom.

Lex Luther, Deathstroke and Clayface work together on a US Military Carrier to attack Aquaman and attempt to find his doomsday weapon.  They fail.

The Military also find Hal Jordan and offer him the chance to fly a captured alien spaceship.  Hal jumps at the chance.  (The ship’s pilot is dead and enclosed in a glass tube.)  The air force general tells Hal that when he died, a glowing green ring flew off his hand and into space.  Hal has trouble believing that part of the story.  However, Hal has no trouble flying the ship.  He too goes after Aquaman, specifically attacking a giant octopus-like creature.  Unfortunately, Hal and his ship are swallowed by the creature and Hal is presumed dead.

At that point, the President fires Cyborg, stating there’s nothing left to be done. Cyborg goes to Batman and the Shazam kids and tells them it’s over. Flash talks everyone into not giving up. They all go to Europe. In Europe, they meet Lois and the Resistance group. However, Aquaman and Wonder Woman are in the midst of their final battle. There’s a huge fight, and one by one, most everyone is injured or killed. Finally, Reverse Flash arrives and confronts Flash – explaining that everything that’s happened is his fault, he changed things – and created the mess.

There’s more destruction and heroes, Amazons, and Aquaman’s troops dying.  Superman arrives, and cuts off Aquaman’s arm to save Cyborg.  However, severely injured, Cyborg dies.  Diana goes to kill Aquaman, but he launches his doomsday weapon, Captain Atom.  Barry’s absorbed the info from Professor Zoom.  Batman kills Zoom, and gives Barry a letter for Bruce.  Barry runs and runs, barely escaping the Doomsday weapon, and catches himself.  He prevents himself from changing the past.

Barry again wakes up at his office – and everything is back to normal.  He visits Bruce and gives him the letter.  Bruce recognizes his father’s handwriting and is moved to tears by Thomas Wayne’s letter.

The first time I watched this film, I really didn’t like it.  It seemed so unfair to Barry that he’d have to sacrifice his mother and his happiness with Iris to save the world (in the alternate reality – she’s married to someone else and has a child.)

Watching it a second time, I liked it slightly better, but the film still has some issues. First, Barry, The Flash, is thrust into the altered reality suddenly, and with no explanation. We don’t see him time travel, or Professor Zoom trying something, or even a strange portal. There’s no visual or other indication that somehow time has changed. So the audience is as much in the dark as Barry Allen. And, although in some films, that technique of utter confusion can work, because the audience has faith that All Will Be Explained, in a short, animated film, it becomes wearying to have no idea what is going on. The film is full of action sequences, that sometimes make sense and other times don’t – because so little is explained in the film. And the only explanation is at the end, and from the villain – who places the blame squarely on Barry’s head. Really? How did Zoom know? If he was from the altered reality – he shouldn’t know anything about Barry Allen, because Barry never became the Flash in that reality. Not to mention, if Zoom tapped into the Speed Force by copying the accident that made Barry the Flash – how could he exist without an accident to copy?  (A non-invention paradox.) Meanwhile, Barry actually brings up the other problem – how could his interfering with his mother’s death have affected events before that event? Professor Zoom’s explanation is inventive, but not quite convincing. My guess is he actually lied to Barry – and it was Zoom who messed with things to create the Really Messed Up world then dumped Barry into it. Or, caused a version of Barry to exist that never became Flash. It certainly sounds more like a plot put together by a supervillain.

The other issue was the animation – which I thought was crude, and frankly, pretty bad.  The Justice League in the opening barely looked human – or, Kryption or whatever they may be.  And in some scenes, the animation was OK, in others, especially the opening flashbacks – it looked very much like Japanese anime, and it others the humans/heroes just didn’t look right – at all.  (Diana / Wonder Woman looks awful in nearly every shot she’s in.) It really was quite messy – and there seemed no reason for it.

I will say, it was nice to see a story about Barry Allen, The Flash, but this particular story was dark, and the execution wasn’t very successful.

Recommendation:  For die hard DC fans only, otherwise skip it.
Rating:  3 out of 5 Stars
Next Film:  No idea – I have, The Prestige, Inception, Superman Unbound, Justice League War (New 52 Origins)”, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on deck.

Doctor Who DVD Master Post Updated – 2014

The following is an updated list of all the Classic and New Who Episodes available on DVD. In general, Classic Stories are available as single title release DVDs, though some of the individual titles are available in box sets. Episodes made prior to 1970 were filmed in black and white. In general, the New Who (2005 – ) stories are available in season box sets and in DVD or Blu-Ray format. Some of the New Who stories were also released individually (such as the specials) and the Matt Smith stories are available in half-season sets as well. Please note “season” and “series” are used interchangably to describe a single year of the series (even an academic year).

Yes, I assembled this list and posted it myself. I did not make the “Quote-cloud” pics, I found those on Facebook, I think, but I do think they are awesome!

William Hartnell

DW quotes Dr 1 William_Hartnell_Episodes

Patrick Troughton

DW quotes Troughton Patrick_Troughton_Episodes

Jon Pertwee

DW quotes - JP

Jon_Pertwee_Episodes

Tom Baker, Part 1

DW quotes Tom Baker Tom-Baker_Episodes-part1

Tom Baker, Part 2

DW Indomitable Tom-Baker_Episodes-Part2

Peter Davison

DW Davison quotes Peter-Davison_Episodes

Colin Baker

A note about Colin Baker – during his tenure as the Doctor, the BBC changed the format a couple of times. His first story, The Twin Dilemma, is four half-hour parts – standard for Doctor Who. However, for the rest of the season, they changed the format to 45-minute “episodes” but stuck with the multi-part format. Therefore, Attack of the Cyberman (as well as the rest of the season)  is two 45-minute parts. However, the total length of the stories is roughly the same as the more traditional format, that is, two 45-minute parts equals four 30-minute parts; both are roughly 90 minutes.

Colin’s second season returned to the 30-minute parts format, but it was an umbrella story line called, “The Trial of a Time Lord”.

DW Colin Baker Quotes Colin-Baker_Episodes

Sylvester McCoy

After a hiatus, Doctor Who returned with Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor, the format returned to multi-part stories with 30-minute episodes.

DW quotes S McCoy Sylvester-McCoy-Episodes

The Wilderness Years 1990 – 1995

The BBC cancelled Doctor Who. Years later, it returned as a movie, co-produced by the BBC and FOX Broadcasting in the US.

DW Quotes Paul McGann Paul-McGann_Stories

The Wilderness Years, part 2 1995 – 2005

DWlogo2

New Who

Christopher Eccleston

DW Quotes 9th dr Chris-Eccleston_S1_Eps

David Tennant

DW quotes Tennant David-Tennant_S2 David-Tennant_S3 David-Tennant_S4 David-Tennant_s4-5

Matt Smith

DW Quotes Smith Matt-Smith_S5 Matt-Smith_S6 Matt-Smith_S7

Peter Capaldi, 2014 –

Peter-Capaldi_resized

Peter_Capaldi_S8

Iron Man 3

  • Title:  Iron Man 3
  • Director:  Shane Black
  • Date:  2013
  • Studio:  Paramount, Marvel
  • Genre:  Action, Fantasy
  • Cast:  Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau, Rebecca Hall, Ben Kingsley, Paul Bettany
  • Format:  Color, Widescreen
  • DVD Format:  NTSC, R1

When I saw Iron Man 3 in the theater last summer I was somewhat disappointed.  I bought the DVD anyway, and having watched it a couple of times, I still think it wasn’t as good as it could have been.  But I bought the film because I like Robert Downey Jr. and he does seem to be born to play the part of Tony Stark aka Iron Man.

The interesting part of the story is that Tony, after the events in New York, in The Avengers, is suffering from PTSD and panic attacks – not that he seems willing to deal with his trauma.  He and Pepper are living together, but arguing as ever.

The film uses a voice-over by Tony to try to connect and explain events.  In a tag during the credits, we’ll learn he’s talking to Dr. Bruce Banner.  However, even with the voice-over, this film is confusing and hard to follow.  And even after multiple viewings – that doesn’t improve matters, at all.  And that remains one of the prime problems with the film – without a good story, a story that grabs you with it’s characters – or an unique and meaningful plot, the best action sequences in the world can still seem boring.  So, the film doesn’t really work because it’s confusing, and the action sequences don’t really work because they have little meaning.

The plot involves a series of “terrorist” bombings – bombings which eventually turn out not to be the result of terrorist bombs at all, but a new, experimental military technology called Extremis.  Extremis was invented by Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) a man Tony had met at a party before he became Iron Man.  Tony blew the guy off, causing him to obtain military contracts to develop Extremis – rather than using it as a genetic treatment for physical disabilities and medical illnesses.  Though, given the little we see of Killian’s character, it’s doubtful he would have used Extremis for purely “peaceful” means even if Stark Industries had backed his research.

The terrorist bombings, by a man called, The Mandarin, turn out to be a charade – The Mandarin is Trevor Slattery, a British actor, hired by Killian to put a false face on the bombings – which are actually a side effect of Extremis going wrong.  S.H.I.E.L.D., meanwhile, had tried to get Tony to work with them to stop The Mandarin – but he refuses as he thinks it’s none of his business.  When Happy is injured in an random Mandarin attack, however, Tony takes it personally – and not only threatens the Mandarin but gives out his home address in a public press conference.

Tony’s actions prove to be as dumb as that sounds – as the Mandarin attacks and destroys his Malibu home.  Tony, in escaping, ends-up in Tennessee, where he is given help by a young, geeky, know-it-all kid.  And yes, that part of the plot was extremely annoying. Pepper disappears for the vast majority of the plot – and Tony’s running around with a kid.

Tony is in Tennessee for a reason, though – before the public threats of the Mandarin started, there was another explosion with the same heat signature.  Tony figures there’s a connection, and in Tennessee – he finds it, thus leading him to Trevor, and then to Killian. But Killian meanwhile has taken Pepper and exposed her to Extremis.  Thus, Tony ‘s final battle is more about saving the woman he loves than about stopping Killian and Extremis. This should have made the film work better – however, not only is Tony helped by Rhody, now the “Iron Patriot” but about 30 remotely activated Iron Man suits join in the final battle. Therefore, in the final battle – it’s very difficult to figure out who’s who and what’s going on (both Tony and Rhody get in and out of various suits throughout the battle).

Still, at the end, Pepper almost dies, but Extremis saves her.  Tony realises how much he loves Pepper, and even has the shrapnel and electromagnet removed from his chest, and one is left with the idea that he might, finally, become a better person without relying on his suit of iron.  Well, until the next Avengers film.

The problem with Iron Man 3 is twofold – it doesn’t expand the universe at all, it simply introduces yet another villain, and this villain isn’t even real – the Mandarin is a sham.  An Killian, though nasty, is somewhat finite as a villain – Extremis doesn’t work.  It, temporarily, does as promised – even regrowing limbs, but eventually the patient blows-up.  Not exactly a medical miracle.  And secondly, it becomes just another chapter in an on-going story that never ends.  There’s no beginning, middle, end structure to the Iron Man films – so there’s no growth.  In the second film, I felt Tony had slid backwards to his original party self; in this one – Party Tony is in a flashback, but there’s still no real growth or change.  And the end scenes, which do hint at change — Tony realising his feelings for Pepper, Tony having the shrapnel and magnet removed, etc., all seem fake and short-lived.  We know Iron Man will be back, so what’s the point?

I did like the scenes between Pepper and Tony at the beginning and end of the film, but overall, Gwyneth Paltrow is almost criminally under-used in this film.  She needed either, her own storyline, or to be with Tony in Tennessee doing research – not simply arguing with Tony at the beginning, and being a victim at the end, until Tony tries to rescue her and she ends up rescuing herself instead.

Recommendation:  For die-hard Marvel fans Only
Rating:  3 Stars
Next Film:  Justice League:  Flashpoint Paradox

How to Move and Customize the Quick Access Toolbar in Microsoft Word 2010

If you were dismayed to discover that in Microsoft Office 2010 all the menus you’d memorized were gone, you are not alone.  And if you also miss having the ability to add custom buttons to your toolbar, I understand and feel your pain.  But, all is not lost.  This post will show you how to build a Quick Access Toolbar in Microsoft Word 2010.  The same techniques work in Microsoft Excel, and can even be used to put buried options easily within reach in Microsoft Access.  But let’s start with Microsoft Word.

The first thing you need to do is open Word and go to the File Ribbon (Click the File tab).  You do not need to have a document open to do this.  Go to Options and choose Quick Access Toolbar.

File_Tab_Options

The first thing you’ll want to do, is override the default placement of the Quick Access Toolbar above the Ribbon.  Leaving the toolbar there makes it difficult to see (it almost hides) and difficult to get to (the Ribbon is in the way).  Unless you intend to hide the ribbon entirely, simply click “Show the Quick Access Toolbar below the Ribbon”.  A checkmark will appear next to the statement.  Click “OK” to save (to apply the change).

 

Move Quick access Toolbar Below Ribbon

Next, after again going to File → Options → Quick Access Toolbar to re-open the dialogue, in the Choose Commands From section,  use the pull-down menu to select, All Commands.  This will give you a very long alphabetical list of all Word commands.  The list is long, but it’s the easiest way to find the commands you want to place on your toolbar.

Choose All Commands

Next, decide what commands you want on your toolbar.  I suggest commands that not only you use frequently but that are buried in obscure places – making them difficult to get to.  I’ll talk more about commands you might want to add, later.  The illustration below shows how to add the Insert Hyperlink Command.  Simply click the command in the command list on the left, click ADD, then click OK.  Several commands can be added, to build your custom Quick Access Toolbar.  The up and down arrows actually control where the commands are on the toolbar from left to right.  So, in the illustration below, Open is to the left, followed by Save, followed by Save As, and so on to the right.  When done, click OK to save all your changes.

Adding Insert Hyperlink

 

And there you have it – a custom toolbar, containing your most used commands, and/or commands that can be difficult to find or get to in Word 2010.  Here is an example of how the Quick Access Toolbar looks (highlighted in yellow – additional commands can be reached by click the arrows circles in red).

Toolbar

 

Items that it can be handy to include:

  • Save As – The new Word really buries this one.  If, like me, you often re-name files right in Word, so you can keep a previous version intact – this is a must-have.  I always had a custom button for it in older versions of Word.
  • Insert Symbol – Why going poking around the insert page, trying to find this?  Especially when you need it in the middle of document to correctly spell a name that uses accent marks of some sort?  The Omega Sign is used for the Insert Symbol button – and besides letters with accent marks, it allows using the degree symbol (as in degrees Fahrenheit), copyright, registered trademark, and trademark symbols, arrows – to delineate steps or directions, etc.
  • Table shortcuts – I often work with tables, and I actually got used to using the shortcut buttons in Excel.  When I began to need to update and edit tables in Word I found having the shortcuts accessible helped tremendously.  I realize it may be hard to see, but the ones on the toolbar allow the insertion and deletion of rows and columns.

However, the point is to add to the Quick Access Toolbar commands you use constantly.  And secondly, to add useful commands that are difficult to locate on the ribbons or that are buried in second and third level dialogues.