Archive for the Lost Category

Abrams physics

Posted in Film & TV, Lost on May 11, 2009 by Elephant Talk

One of the subjects I wanted to hit on in this increasingly neglected blog was how much I hate all the “rebooting” and “reimagining” that’s coming out of the greater Los Angeles area this decade. It started with all of the comic book movies, which I liked at first but which quickly became tiresome. Then we had Battlestar Galactica and now Star Trek, and I know there are a whole host of others that I can’t think of at the moment. Why the hell can’t someone come up with an original idea anymore? Aren’t there any new stories out there?

I wanted to bitch about that, but I just saw the new Star Trek movie and I fucking loved it. So there goes that idea.

I’m not a Trekkie, because I don’t go to conventions, I don’t dress up (okay, I was Dr. Crusher for Halloween once), and I don’t like the original series very much. But Star Trek TNG was a mild obsession for me in college and I went to see just about all of the 10 movies that came before this latest one.

This movie brought out the geek in me because of all the inside jokes, Karl Urban’s hilarious and spot-on take on Bones, and the general giddiness of a truly kick-ass science fiction movie. But what really got me was how ballsy it was to completely change the Roddenberry universe. Warning: Spoilers ahead.

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Posted in Film & TV, Images, Lost on May 1, 2009 by Elephant Talk

Given the events of the most recent episode of Lost, I thought this was a good time to revisit the crash that started this whole insane TV show. I found an excellent video on Youtube. Someone edited together several episodes across several seasons to create a linear timeline of events of the crash from three different perspectives: Desmond at the hatch, the central characters in the plane, and the Others on the ground.

As for “The Variable” itself, I’m worried. If Lost ends with everyone erasing their pasts and winding up landing in LAX, I’m going to be very disappointed. Not quite The Wizard of Oz, but close.

New phone, new TV

Posted in Culture, Expat life, Film & TV, Images, Korea, Lost, Technology on April 24, 2009 by Elephant Talk

This is my new TV. It’s also my new cell phone…


I haven’t owned a TV in over two years, ever since I moved to Korea. When I finally get one, it winds up being an accessory item. Technology is weird.

The picture quality is outstanding for such a tiny little thing. And it’s easy. I plug in the antenna, flip up the screen, hit the TV button, and cycle through channels. It’s got about 10 channels and the broadcasts are free. I don’t watch it very much though. Korean TV leaves a lot to be desired. It primarily consists of three types of programming — melodramas, news, and variety shows. If I’m able to figure out how to get Lost and Lotte Giants games I might watch it more.

So why did I get it? It was free. It’s Samsung’s brand new product (the SPH-W6450), and from what I could understand through the translation, Samsung wants to get it out there for people to see. So with a 2-month contract I walked out without paying a single won. I think the list price on it is 650,000.

There seem to be a lot of buried features that I haven’t figured out yet. The camera is great, but I’m still tweaking with the settings. It also does video calls, but I haven’t even touched that yet. One thing I do not like about this phone is that the battery lasts for about two days. The screen is so big and bright (even on lowest setting) that the energy gets sucked out of it pretty quickly.

The feature I am excited about is the Bluetooth capability. I finally figured out how to connect it to my MacBook. The problem is it took about 5 minutes to bring one solitary mp3 over to my phone. That ain’t gonna work, but maybe I’m doing something wrong. Tweak, tweak, tweak…

Lost time

Posted in Film & TV, Lost on March 6, 2009 by Elephant Talk

OK, I think I’ve got a full grasp of the different “times” happening on Lost. I’d better get this down before I forget. (Oh, and I shouldn’t have to say this but… spoilers most definitely ahead.)

The Oceanic Six left the island in 2006. They had a real-time, subjective experience of 3 years passing, bringing them presumably to 2009.

John Locke unskipped the record on the island in 2006.
When he did that, he sent himself 3 years into the future, to 2009.
When he did that, he also sent Jin, Juliette, Sawyer, Miles, and Daniel to 1974.

John went to an objective future that already happened. He didn’t experience time passing.
Jin, Juliett, Sawyer, Miles, and Daniel find themselves in 1974. Their passage of time was subjective, they experienced it, and wound up in 1977 by the time this latest episode ended.

Then there was the second plane crash, in 2009. Here time is also split.
At least three people — Kate, Jack, and Hurley — flashed back in time to 1977. The interesting thing is that this matched precisely the two subjective passages of time in order to match the characters up again.
The airplane itself just crashed. We don’t know what time that is, but I’m assuming it’s 2009. So we have John and Ben on the island in 2009. For some reason they didn’t go with the rest of them. Why? I figure this is a huge plot point, something having to do with their personal battle. We also know that Frank (the pilot) also crashed with them. We don’t yet know “when” Sayid and Sun are.


Lost Season 4 / Season 5 limbo

Posted in Film & TV, Lost on August 29, 2008 by Elephant Talk

I got my parents hooked on Lost and now they’re in limbo. They recently finished the Season 3 DVD set with its jaw-dropping finale, and they’re gung-ho for Season 4. But I can’t provide the goods. ABC and DVD are no help either. Here’s the problem:

Season 5 does not begin until January. OK fine, so go ahead and repeat Season 4 during the Fall to get everyone back up to speed. There were only 14 episodes due to the writers’ strike — perfect timing. But no, they’re going to air some dumb new show instead.

Next problem: The Season 4 DVD doesn’t come out until December. How stupid is this? By December they may not care anymore, and if they do it’ll be a panic to try and watch them all before S5 begins. There’s no fun in that.

I feel like a dope pusher, getting them hooked like that only to deny them the goods when the show really starts to take off.

Battlestar Galactica vs Star Trek vs Lost

Posted in Culture, Film & TV, Lost, Personal, Politics, Technology, USA on June 16, 2008 by Elephant Talk

OK, I’m going to dip into the geek pool — familiar waters for me, I should add — and give my opinion on the Star Trek versus Battlestar Galactica debate. Sam J. Miller wrote a very good analysis comparing the two shows, highlighting the optimism of the former and the bleakness of the latter, also pointing out how they reflect their respective cultural zeitgeists. As he writes:

“These days, Battlestar Galactica’s warning that technology and progress will bring us to the brink of total annihilation is far more resonant than Star Trek’s hope that technology and progress will solve all of our problems.”

I was never that into the original Star Trek series, but I am a huge fan of The Next Generation. That show was quintessential science fiction, with some brilliantly inventive stories. We got some real mind-benders that dealt with the nature of reality, death, time travel, dreams, free will, and other aspects of human nature. But we also got some intriguing cultural and political parallels of the time — gay rights, abuses of power, the individual versus the collective, war treaties, colonialism, terrorism, etc. Each episode seemed to be a sort of life lesson and a means toward inspiring our better nature. American culture was more positive then, not to mention more innocent.

Ronald D. Moore was one of the principle creative forces on the latter (better) half of the show’s seven-year run. He is also the lead creative force behind his more recent project, Battlestar Galactica. This show displays humanity in a different way. As Miller points out, unlike in TNG, humanity in the BSG future is still very, very flawed. The “heroes” of the show rig elections, assassinate enemies, make bad decisions, destroy themselves, and behave like depressed drunkards. Why shouldn’t they? Most of their species has been eradicated and hope is fading. They’re confused and afraid.

This is the fear that underlies modern society. The fear of today isn’t simply that the Soviets or the Americans will hit the red button at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons; it’s the feeling that this time, perhaps we deserve our own annihilation (again, paraphrasing Miller, but also reiterating my own opinion, which I expressed here a couple months back). It is our own mistakes, our own lack of foresight, our misunderstanding of our enemies, and an inability to change that gives us this feeling that we are unworthy of continuing. This is an oft-echoed theme of BSG, and it’s the reason the show works so well. It’s also the reason that the constructed world of BSG is far more compelling and complex than TNG.

But does that make it a better show? This is where I’m going to disagree with Miller, Moore, and perhaps every media critic out there who adores Battlestar Galactica.

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I hope they know what the frak they’re doing

Posted in Film & TV, Lost on April 11, 2008 by Elephant Talk

It finally happened. Battlestar Galactica has become Lost. I suppose that’s what happens when a formula works. Keep the mystery alive, tease the audience all along the way, twist the frak out of things now and then, even change character motivation. I mean, c’mon, Colonel Tigh?!

We’re all suckers. We love it. We hope it all makes sense somehow. We put faith in the producers and writers. But we’re putty (not to mention commerce) in their hands.

Still, I loved the BSG season opener. Kara was great, the space battles were epic, some nice philosophical conundrums, and they obviously have a lot of story yet to tell. The bummer was no Athena. I don’t care if she is a cylon, I want her to bear my children.