Nike and Pepsi ruined BTTF day…

In case you missed it, today was “Back to the Future” day. It was the date that Marty Mac-fly traveled to in the second Back to the Future movie. In the movie, 2015 was this wonderful world of flying cars, hover boards, 80’s cafes, and other wonderful things. Obviously, most things in the movie were far fetched and unrealistic for us to achieve, but there was definitely a couple things that seemed plausible: the Nike self lacing shoes and the new Pepsi product. In some ways, both of those were made real today, and it sucks and makes me really sad as a Back to the Future fan.

These two products could make both Pepsi and Nike untold amount of profits. People have been dreaming for years about these two products and instead of just capitalizing the F*ck out of your product placement, they instead decided to make ultra limited runs of their products. Pepsi knows that people would bend over backward to get their hand on a bottle of “Pepsi perfect”, but instead of just starting a new product or adopting the new bottle as a standard thing, they decided to make a measly 6500 bottles… What the Hell!?!?!?!?! And they completely botched the release too!! There are Millions of people in this country! Millions! Think about all the money you could make Pepsi! Think of the money! People would not care that a bottle cost $20! Just sell me the stupid thing!! The bottles are being resold on eBay for almost $500 now too….

Nike did release a version of the Nike Mag shoe back in 2011. Unlike the movie shoes, they did not have the self lacing action. Only sold a thousand pairs and all the proceedings went to charity. At the time Nike hinted that they would make a real version sometime in 2015, and they did! Huzzah! There is just one massive problem: they won’t sell them!!! They’ll be another limited edition auction Bullshit!!! WHY!?!?!? Just think of the profits, Nike!!! People would camp outside store to get their hands on a pair!! Think of all the money You could make out of pre-orders!! Think of the profits!!!! At least release the non power-lacing one to the general public!

This whole thing is really killing me! You would think that these two massive international companies would see the potential they have for sales, and yet they seem completely oblivious to the fact people are actually willing to give them money. It’s not like they lacked the means to do it either, so what holding them up? Just sell them to me! Yes, you are reading this right: I am complaining that Nike and Pepsi are not greedy enough…. uggghhhh. All I want are some awesome shoe and a collectible drink…

Dear Pepsi and Nike, here is a simpler version of what i am trying to say:

Seriously!!! Take it!!!!
Seriously!!! Take it!!!!

A review of “The Martian”, or why books are better than the movie adaptations…

I’ll admit it’s been a while since my last movie review. The simple truth was that I haven’t seen a movie recent that I felt writing about. I am not even sure I saw a movie since the horrible “Fantastic Four” reboot (to which they are still planning a sequel! what a bunch of idiots…). Having seen “The martian” recently, I have finally something to write about that I feel is “important” (in the sense that this is really bothering me and I need to rant at length about it).

/!\ Spoilers ahead /!\

Let us first talk on the subject of movie adaptation of books. While there are some notable exceptions, like the “Lord of the Ring” movies and the first few “Harry Potter” movies, book adaptations usually aren’t as good as their source material. They cut characters (Peeves never appears in any Harry Potter movies despite being a relatively important character), important details are missing (in the Hunger Games, Peeta loses a leg and the feral beasts are the mutated bodies of the dead tributes) even entire chapters disappear (Harry Potter movies Five and Six for example) or sometimes there is a hefty “artistic license” at play (Half the stuff in the Hobbit movies is not in the book). There seem to be a gray area for movies based on Comic books since they usually don’t follow story line of specific printed issues but rather loosely based on the characters.

When you read a book, you are given a specific sequence of events and a specific cast of characters. Depending on the length of a given book, a “proper” movie adaptation can be tricky. Most people wouldn’t want to watch a 5 hour long epic. Something like “Battlefield Earth”, which is over a thousand pages long, had a terrible adaptation. That probably why Game of thrones is a TV show, gives you more time to get everything right in watchable packets (though I heard from some of the die hard fans of the book that the TV show doesn’t get everything quite right). The Martian is not a very long book, it’s only 360 and some pages long. I read it in a single day and I’m dyslexic. It has a simple story, few characters, and is quite funny. What could possibly go wrong?

As it turns out, a couple important things. They don’t get major details right and several major events from the book don’t happen in the film.

First off, lots of missing important details. In the book, each crew member has two suits: a light fiber flight suit and heavier EVA suit. This allowed Mark Watney, the main character, to do several important things. One of the suit get used as a water storage container, another is used a spare in case of accidents, and so on. In the movie, they crew only have one type of suit per crew, and the spare suits are only briefly seen despite being hugely important in the book! Another glaring issue are the two rovers. In the book, both rover remain operational after the initial event that strands the hero on mars, but in the movie, one of the rover is almost destroyed! The specification of the rovers are also wrong. In the book the battery are on the underside of the rover and it has no bed to carry cargo. In the movie, It’s like a pickup truck! It even has crane that doesn’t exist in the book and the battery is on top of the rover!  The rovers had air-locks in the book that are none existant in the movie!

This list could go on forever to be honest. The number and the size of the solar panels are wrong, the color of the flag for the RTG is wrong, there is no mention of all the ebooks brought by one of the crew, the pop up tents aren’t in the film, the log dates are wrong and blah blah blah…

One of the cool aspect of the book was the scientific explanation of what the character did, though I can’t verify how accurate they were. It made the book feel more believable because things made sense. Almost none of the science stuff made it to the movie. Another thing that didn’t quite make the cut is Watney swearing. In the book, there is quite a bit of swearing but because America has idiotic censorship laws on swearing, they only say “f*ck” twice in the movie to keep it PG-13. Bullshit isn’t it?

The biggest gripe I have with this movie over ever is that they cut out four rather important events from the book! During his extended stay on Mars, there are five big incidents that happen but only one of them is actually in the film! Why? it’s not like they were running out of time! The movie is not even two and a half hours, they could have easily trimmed so of the less important stuff out, like the crew moving around in zero G (which, incidentally, was laughably bad), and add the actually important stuff! Imagine if the first harry potter film didn’t include the troll, the dark forest, and the chess game at the end. It’s that bad! They even change the ending to make it more dramatic than it already was in the book!

Finally, there is a subtle error in the film. toward the end, we get shot from around the globe (read Northern hemisphere) as people watch live the rescue attempt. One of those shot happens to be in Beijing and it’s snowing and people are wearing big winter jackets. We can therefore conclude that it is currently winter in the northern hemisphere. However in every other shot (London and New York City), It is clearly not winter. People are not wearing heavy jackets, their breath is not condensing at all and there is no snow to be seen. That is not possible.

Alright, this post is running long so I’ll wrap things up. Is the Martian a good movie adaptation of the book? No, there are way too many things wrong. But is it a good movie on its own merit? Yes. Everything within the movie is coherent and it is perfectly enjoyable even if you did not read the book. The special effects are pretty good, there are some really cool rendering of the martian surface, and the story is light-hearted and funny. They even added a bit of an epilogue, which I felt was missing from the book. In short: good movie, but I do however recommend reading the book, for it is far superior.

New York Comic Con Trip!

WP_20151009_07_01_47_ProSurprise! I’m in New York this weekend for the Comic Con! Huzzah! Boy oh boy was it a blast!

After waking up way too early on Friday morning, I went on my flight to the big apple. I tried to take a photo of the sun rise from the plane but since we were heading straight for the sun, the photo above was the best I could achieve.

My hype for the convention was stirred as soon as sat on the train for Penn station. There was this guy that sat a few seat away that was talking to another person and I overheard him say that none other that Stan Lee himself would be in a booth on the main show floor! Say what?! Meet Stan Lee in person? Heck yeah! There were quite a few costumed people around Penn station making their way to the convention as well when I got off the train. Such excitement! Since I had this really cool Jedi outfit and light sabers, I was ready to have the full Comic Con experience.

It turned out to be quite different from what I expected. I have been to the Tokyo Game Show before but that was a trade show. The Comic Con is mostly small vendor with things to sell, ranging from T-shirt to limited edition collectibles, to swords and blades and leather steampunk armor. There were a few booths from Lego and Square Enix with game demo for people to try out. There even was a booth for a Cirque du Soleil show based on the James Cameron’s Avatar where you could get Na’vii make up. I uploaded a selection of photo I took today.

We did look around for Stan Lee but changes are he never was around. I also wanted to check out the Back to The future Booth where supposedly you could get bottles of Pepsi Perfect (like in Back to the Future part II) but they weren’t actually giving anything away… sad face… But hey I did get a free book from one of the book publisher booths.

The best part was the Sphero/Marbles Brain Store booth who sold one thing: BB-8 Spheros. And I bought one and Holy Crap is it an awesome thing!

WP_20151010_14_59_14_ProIt rolls pretty fast and reacts when it crashes it things, you can make its head move around and even let it wander around on its own. The only downside I can see so far is that your phone can get really warm and it will use your phone battery pretty quickly. Blame Bluetooth I suppose.

Anyways, I have a couple days before I fly back to Nebraska. It will give some time to catch up and see what changed since the last time I visited back in June, and hang out with some of my old college buddies. That’s about it for today and may the Force be with you…


The irony of Peeple…

Now, I don’t usually talk about drama on the internet, mostly because it is inconsequential to my daily life, but sometimes I can’t help but point and laugh at other people’s misery.

If you haven’t heard of the supposedly upcoming app called “Peeple”, here is the gist: It allows you to rate and review people like you would review a business on Yelp. While I won’t pretend I don’t pass some form of judgement on everyone I know (don’t fool yourself, so do you), I usually prefer to keep said judgement for myself. Now you might think: “as long as I don’t create a profile for myself, I’ll be fine”, but that’s where you are wrong and where things gets crazy. If the person you want to review is not on Peeple, You can create a profile for them! All you need is a cellphone number for that person to be notified by and Ta-dah! The person is publicly available for review (only “positive” reviews, supposedly). It doesn’t has to be that person actually phone number either. Originally they wanted the app to automatically go through your Facebook friends to create their profile, but thankfully Facebook would let them.

Oh you can’t remove slanderous review about you on the app either, you’ll have to “publicly defend yourself” according to their website. You can report “inaccurate” content but that’s probably not going to do anything…

Needless to say, the individuals behind the app have receive a lot of flack for their objectively terrible idea. What’s more interesting about it is how they dealt with it. When their Facebook page started receiving comments critical of their app, they started deleting them. They even tweeted asking if it was possible to prevent people from commenting on their Facebook page! When people pointed out the hypocrisy of them deleting negative comment about their app that wouldn’t let you do that, they simply deleted the Facebook page and created a new one, where the exact same thing happened. As far as I know they are not on Facebook anymore. They also recently deleted their twitter and YouTube account and their website has gone down a least a couple times due the amount of traffic.

I actually went on their website to ask some clarification about opting out of the app, people creating profiles for you and if they are considering redesigning their app after the ruckus it created. I haven’t heard from them yet and I suspect I never will. If I ever do get an answer, I’ll post it in an update, but don’t hold your breath.

Someone also created a petition for Google and Apple to ban the app for their store, which you can find here. The really funny part is that they wanted to release an app that allows people to give unsolicited feedback on other people, but when they got unsolicited feedback about themselves, they tried everything to make it stop and failed. Nothing like tasting your own medicine, I suppose.