I've been a fan of science fiction movies, tv shows and stories for as long as I've been able to see things and to read. When I was in primary and high school, I used to come home with a different book every night, sometimes more than one. And I'd read them in a day or two, and go onto the next. By the time I was 12 I'd read classic authors like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke, E E 'Doc' Smith and Robert Heinlein. Smith wrote the classic Lensman and Foundation series, which I just couldn't get enough of. Science fiction movies weren't that good for me, as they never matched the depths of my imagination, while books allowed me to flesh out the details. Dr Who was an exception, as that was definitely quality sci-fi. And then there was Blakes 7, another British sci-fi show which was just fantastic. Around the same time was Battlestar Galactica, a show which even my parents loved to watch.

Today we have the new series of Battlestar Galactica, which has been just so awesome for me to watch, I decided I had to write about it.

I've just finished watching the cliffhanger ending of the first half of Season 2. Season 1 only came out earlier this year, and I voraciously downloaded and watched every episode I could get my hands on. Happily, they were released onto the internet around the same time as they were shown in America, which was a few months before they began to be shown here in NZ.

What did I like about it so much? Well, there's not a lot of modern sci-fi shows which capture my interest. Most of them are more in the soap operish style, or just plain crap. I never got into 4400 (if that's what it's called), nor did I get into Smallville, Roswell, etc. I stopped watching Star Trek: Enterprise halfway through the first season and never went back. I'm a Star Trek fan (only of the material since The Next Generation – I never got into the original series with Kirk) in a big way, but Enterprise just didn't grab me.

But back to Battlestar Galactica. Right from the beginning of the pilot, what I liked about it was its gritty realism. It was dark, it was visually spectacular, it had great acting and character development, so that you could get into the minds of some of the characters, and it was realistic. Unlike the original Galactica series, which had many funny moments and completely unrealistic attitudes towards the destruction of humanity, the new series treated the subject with respect.

Humanity was destroyed by the Cylons, with less than 50,000 people surviving and managing to escape from the Cylons in a 'ragtag fleet' protected by the only surviving Battlestar. The Minister of Education, just having found out that she has cancer, is thrust into the position of the new President of the Colonies, being the only surviving member of the government. Characters we come to know and love turn out to be, surprisingly, Cylons, who had developed models that simulate humans. Baltar, the evil human genius from the original series that purposefully helped the Cylons, is in this series a human who is deceived by the Cylons into helping them destroy humanity, and while his genius comes in handy for the Battlestar and the fleet, there's still a connection between him and the Cylons, albeit one that isn't that obvious or destructive.

The humour in the show, the humanity, the chaos and the fear – it's all part of what you would expect real people to do, and how you'd expect them to react under such situations. Every character becomes real, with their own lives, histories, goals and ideals – even the Cylons.

The Season One finale shocked the hell outta me! As a season finale, it came completely out of nowhere, completely unexpected. The event that closed the episode was surprising and shocking simply because it hadn't been predictable, and brought about such a scenario that you just hated the season ending on that note!

When Season Two began, I couldn't download the episodes fast enough. It just got better, with the characters developing even more interesting backgrounds, with the fleet getting closer to finding Earth, with things happening that basically reflect how we, as we know ourselves, would probably react in similar circumstances.

There are parallels to our current civilisation, with police states and the war on terror. It's real, it's exciting, and it's fantastic science fiction.

Season Two has just started a half season break, with yet another cliff-hanger that's just made me hate waiting for the next one! Apparently it starts again in January. Oh my… it's huge!

I can't recommend this series enough. It's a very gripping and rewarding sci-fi drama, and if you have the opportunity to watch it, start from the beginning.

It's not often I give a review of a tv show – and I think this is the first. Battlestar Galactica is worth it.


Lost In Translation

June 12, 2004 · 0 comments

I just watched a movie called Lost In Translation, starring Bill Murray. It made me sad. Do not continue reading if you haven't seen it and plan on seeing it, as I'm giong to be telling you all about it.

Bill played an actor getting old, not able to get work in America, so he's in Tokyo doing a whiskey commercial for 2 million dollars. However, he can't understand the language, and the people are strange. He's bored and alone, with his family back in America. We quickly learn that he forgets his kids' birthday and he can't be bothered giving his wife an answer about what colour the new carpet in his study should be.

While at the hotel in Tokyo he meets a young girl called Charlotte, who's probably about 23-24 as she's only just graduated 2 years previously. She's in Tokyo with her husband, who's a photographer. He was sent there on assignment and she tagged along. While he's out doing the photographing, we quickly find out that he ignores her. They've been married 2 years, and she's wondering if it was the right thing to do.

Her and Bill meet in the bar, and during the course of the movie they hang out together, mainly because they're both American and both alone in Japan. Lonely too.

The movie takes place over a week, and in that time their relationship gets closer. However, they don't engage in any of the normal aspects of a blossoming relationship. It's like they're friends, as close as friends could be without it being sexual.

But the chemistry develops, and before we know it, it's time for him to leave and go back to America. He doesn't want to leave though, and she tells him to stay and they'll start a jazz band. They laugh it off, knowing that they're both married and that could never be. Or could it?

He has a discussion with his wife, who talks about the kids missing him but they're getting used to him being gone. He tells her he wants to change, and become healthier, eating less fatty foods like the Japanese. She tells him he should stay in Japan, and he'd be able to have it every day. He says nothing. She asks him if she should be worried, and he says 'only if you want to'. She says she has to go and she'll "see you… talk to you later." There's little love there. He hangs up, and sinks into the bath, thinking.

After some more time going out and getting closer still, eventually there's a goodbye between him and Charlotte. However it's shallow, without any expressed feeling, as there are Japanese people around waiting to say their goodbyes and see him off to the airport, but as she walks away, sorry to go, he looks after her, sorry that he's going.

As the taxi begins taking him to the airport, he sees her walking along a street, and he jumps out and follows her. Catching up, he calls out her name and she turns around. They stand there looking at each other, and then they hug. He says something to her that we can't hear, but she seems happy. She says ok, and they kiss for the first time. They smile lovingly at each other and he goes back to his cab.

As he's in the car he looks energised, and excited about the future. He smiles, his eyes gleaming, and he looks the happiest and most excited we've seen him during the movie.

The end.

I was originally disappointed with the ending of the movie, because I didn't know what he said to her, and I didn't think there was a resolution. However, during the writing of it above, I realised that what he must have said to her was that he'll be back for her, and she said ok. He was energised because he was going home to end his marriage, and then return to see her.

I felt much better about the movie upon realising that.

But anyway, what made me sad? It was the theme of going through your life wondering if the choices you've made are the right ones, and are the people you marry the ones you're meant to be with.

It made me feel sad because I saw a future possibility of myself in Bill Murray's character. Being with someone I love for years, and then waking up one day and realising I didn't love them any more, and realising that I wasn't happy with my life.

I don't want to be in that position myself one day. I don't want to wake up one day and wonder what I've been doing with my life.

In some respects, I feel like that already, and I don't want it to continue in the future. I'm feeling a little lost and alone right now, which I didn't realise until the movie inspired the feelings in me.

I'll talk more about it another time.


My weekend

9 November 2003

I saw Matrix: Revolutions tonight – that's part 3 of the series to those who don't know. I'm not going to give away any spoilers to it in here, I'll create a dedicated forum for it in another area. However, let me just say that I thought it was awesome! OHMYGOD kind of awesome. Hehehe. […]

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Where’s my damn camera!!!

25 June 2003

I was walking home tonight after after a couple of drinks with a friend, and I was walking about 10 yards behind this guy walking in front of me. Then he stopped and watched a guy walking past him, walking towards me, and then he followed a few steps before turning back around and continuing […]

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19 May 2003

14 May 2003

Last night I had an awesome chat on the phone with Mel, my friend back in Canberra. We spoke about Matrix: Reloaded (more on that soon) and also my 'love life'. I discussed events concerning Wakana and her boyfriend, and how they've moved to Christchurch now, and how I've felt about her and the situation. […]

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Some thoughts

25 November 2002

I went to the movies yesterday and saw Changing Lanes, which was really good. However, as I was driving up into the carpark beforehand, I felt really sad and missed Nic. Suddenly I thought that was unusual, because I realised that every time I've gone to the movies the past couple of months, I've missed […]

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Of retribution

31 March 2002

I once had a friend who I related to really, really well. Then she tired of me and didn’t want anything to do with me, but interestingly enough she still read my journal. I was angry for a while, but was pleased she was still interested in what was happening in my life. However, my […]

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The Kid

22 January 2002

You know how sometimes, something comes along that makes you just sit up and take notice of what's going on in your life, and suddenly you realise that it's lacking. You realise that you're looking for something, but you know that's just diverting you from doing what you know you need to be doing. What […]

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Grief, and aliases

28 November 2001

It must be hard to know that your son died in combat. It must be even harder to have it represented in a movie, with some actor playing out the death of your son. How would you deal with it? Would you see the movie, or stay away from it? I've been reading about 'Black […]

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What is the Matrix

28 September 2001

I've decided to talk about The Matrix, as the first part of yet another attempt to write more updates in my journal about what's on my mind. The Matrix is a movie that's had a real effect in my life, and until it came along, I couldn't relate to why there were so many 'weirdos' […]

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