All posts by ntbadmin

Hobbes Blood

Inspector Hobbes and the Blood
(Unhuman #1)
by Wilkie Martin (2013)

Andy Caplet, a reporter, is reluctantly immersed in Inspector Hobbes’s investigations. Allergic to danger and exercise, Andy is thrown into grave confusion as he discovers not everyone is human.

Sold as humorous  crime fiction, this doesn’t fir easily into any genre. It’s not funny, although there are some absurd characters and moments.  It’s not much of a crime story as everything is wrapped up and explained in the last chapter. And despite the ghoulish horror cover and intent, it’s not very intense.

It is well written and I read, expecting more revelations and insight into the almost-human world of Inspector Hobbes.

So while and interesting read, nothing lead me to continuing the series.

 

Treasure Planet

Treasure Planet is a 2002 science fiction action adventure film produced by Walt Disney.

It is the 43rd Disney animated feature film. It as a science fiction adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1883 adventure novel Treasure Island.

It employs a novel technique of hand-drawn 2D traditional animation set atop 3D computer animation. With a budget of $140 million, it is the most expensive traditionally animated film ever made.

Firstly, it has a well known cast that do a good job:

And that’s about it. The  space environment makes no sense at all. They have steampunk styled ocean ships that “sail” in space. Apparently ‘space’ is full of breathable air.  There is gravity, but that can be turned on and off due to the plot requirements.

The story is just a clone on the original. But the best part are the creature designs. Emma Thompson looks suitably sexy as the cat-like captain. And the crew are variations on sea creatures.

As expected the art design is vibrant and colorful.  But ultimately, the story is forgetable.

 

Female War

Aliens: The Female War
(Aliens #3)
by Steve Perry (1993)

Lieutenant Ellen Ripley awoke from her long journey in space with a hole in her memory and an overwhelming drive to survive. When she meets Wilks and Billie, two battered veterans in the war against the aliens, she realizes she’s found two comrades in arms – and she’s ready to take up the fight.

The final in this series doesn’t surprise. Once the premise of the plot is set early on, it doesn’t deviate. The gang go to some planet, get an Alien Queen and return her to earth. She is then supposed to attract all the drones to her, making it easier to use a nuclear bomb to eradicate the infestation. Everything goes as plan. An there is an additional plot show-horned in to make even more comparisons to the second movie.

But bad, but feels like a rushed job, or contractual obligation.

Nightmare Asylum

Aliens: Nightmare Asylum
(Aliens #2)
by Steve Perry (1993)

Wilks, Billie, and Bueller were the last survivors of a devastating assault on the aliens’ home planet. But once their retum to the solar system made them refugees once more, fleeing Earth and its alien infestation in a desperate attempt to stay alive. Now, in an otherwise unmanned military transport, they hurtle through space.

Definitely a better story. The multiple plots have been stripped out and it’s down to a fight between Colonel Spears and the hero trio. Spears is a one dimensional villain with inexcusable bad habits and a knack to survival. It would have been a joke of a story if not for the inventive plot turns that keep everyone alive until the end.

Then it’s up to the Alien Queen to determine the winners…

 

Atlantis

Atlantis: The Lost Empire is a 2001 animated science-fantasy action-adventure film created by Walt Disney.

It is the 41st Disney animated feature. Written by Tab Murphy, directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise.

Set in 1914, the film tells the story of a young man who gains possession of a sacred book, which he believes will guide him and a crew of mercenaries to the lost city of Atlantis.

Not the best of the Disney films. It suffers from stereotypical and poor characters. This despite some well known stars in leading roles:

Michael J. Fox as Milo James Thatch, linguist, cartographer and main protagonist.

James Garner as Commander Lyle Tiberius Rourke as the big bad leader of the band of mercenaries.

Claudia Christian as Lieutenant Helga Katrina Sinclair, Rourke’s second in command.

David Ogden Stiers as Fenton Q. Harcourt, a board member of the Smithsonian Institution.

John Mahoney as Preston B. Whitmore, an eccentric millionaire  (best known as Martin Crane in Frasier

Leonard Nimoy as Kashekim Nedakh, the King of Atlantis.

There are some impressive visuals, but it doesn’t make up for a rather hackneyed script.

White Noise

Traditionally, heavy vehicles have beepers that activate during backing, alerting others to their prescience. The problem with these is that they are difficult to locate spatially. Enter the white noise beep. There are easier for humans to locate and are replacing the old tonal alarms. As explained:

 

 

Earth Hive

Aliens: Earth Hive
(Aliens  #1)
by Steve Perry (1992)

Wilks was a space marine, Billie was the only survivor of a far-flung colony outpost. Thrown together in the last hellish night of an alien invasion, Billie and Wilks helped each other get out alive.

Thirteen years later Wilks is in prison and Billie lives in a mental institution. The government want Wilks to lead an expedition to the aliens’ home planet to bring back a live alien.


The first of a series of novels covering the film franchise. It’s hard not to see Billie and Wilks as substitutes for Newt and Hudson. At first it’s easy to follow, but as the characters and plot threads pile up, things become complicated .

Sometimes it’s just not clear what is going on. Fortunately things simplify at the end and there is focus on the main characters. There are certainly exciting sequences, but better editing would have made this a better story. And it’s just a setup for the story and the 11 novels to follow.

 

Splashdown

Splashdown
(Dane Maddock Origins #3)
by David Wood (Goodreads Author)

In 1961 space capsule Liberty Bell 7 crashes into the Atlantic Ocean and sinks in what was called an accident. But was it?

Navy SEALs Dane Maddock and “Bones” Bonebrake are called upon to find the Liberty Bell 7 and recover its secret cargo. They find themselves caught up in a conspiracy from the Cold War era, and only they stand in the way of a powerful man bent on vengeance.

Another short (40k words) and fast action/adventure/thriller with it’s roots in an actual incident. It’s all very gung-ho and improbable. But that’s the nature of the genre and yet again David Wood deliver.

 

White Rabbits

White Rabbit Project is a Netflix series starring Kari Byron, Tory Belleci, and Grant Imahara, the build team from MythBusters.

I watched this after finding out that Grant died on July 13 from a brain aneurysm.

The episodes:

“Super Power Tech”
The team tests the viability of various superpowers such as mind control and human flight.

“Jailbreak”
The team compares different prison breaks including the escape of Pascal Payet and El Chapo; Tory replicates the escape of the Strelzyk and Wetzel families from East Germany to West Germany in a homemade hot air balloon.

“Crazy WW2 Weapons”
The trio explore experimental weapons in WW2, including bombs attached to bats and feeding Adolf Hitler estrogen. Kari tries to build a jet propulsion platform meant to allow for the rapid airdrop of heavy weapons.

“Scam Artists”
The team talk about a number of famous Scam Artists such as Victor Lustig AKA the man who sold the Eiffel Tower twice and the man that created the ponzi scheme.

“Heist!”
The team talk about a number of famous heists, including the Hatton Garden safe deposit burglary.

“May G Force Be with You”
The hosts measure g-forces in various contexts to find the most extreme, measuring g forces experienced from jousting to roller coasters to race cars.

“Tech We Love to Hate”
The team find the most annoying tech between, machine voice interaction, repeated stop lights in cities, drones, printers constantly failing, and the constant nagging of too smart tech.

“Where’s My Hoverboard?”
The team investigates the promised tech of the past, including hoverboards, jet packs, holograms, X-ray glasses, bionic body parts, and dermal regeneration.

“Invented Before Its Time?”
Was the tech we have today invented long before it’s assumed creation? The hosts investigate proposed precursors of the mobile phone, GIF, car navigation, the portable music player, selfie stick, and music streaming services.

“Speed Freaks”
Exceptional feats of speed. The hosts look at the speed of, RC cars, speed skiing, fastest human, electric car, speed skydiving, and the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane.

 

Rostered 2

Rostered on – Series 2

In season 2, Shaun has gone and new characters are introduced…

There is Dan, the idiot security officer. Calvin who is living in his car.  And the Cafe nearby, where the staff can be customers and show that they act just as annoyingly as their own customers.

There is more of a character arc in this series. And being Aussie, it doesn’t hold back on the bad language and occasional nudity.