San Andreas: The Uncanny Valley (Fault Line?) Of Disaster Movies

Not pictured: Channing Tatum
Not pictured: Channing Tatum

It may seem strange to compare a disaster movie to a theory on robotics but San Andreas is an earthquake movie starring The Rock so comparisons to strong creatures with limited, if any, emotional range are purely coincidental.  The Uncanny Valley is a theory, pictured above to the extent any theory can be, that says as robots become more and more human-like there is a moment where our emotional reaction to them dips before coming back up.  To the left of the valley the robots are so unlike humans that we perceive them as curiosities.  To the right of the valley the robots are close enough to humans that we can have positive emotional responses to them.  But that moment when the robot is close to being a human without getting it right and instead it is just…creepy–that is the Uncanny Valley.  And San Andreas is the Uncanny Valley of disaster movies.  There’s a lot to discuss here and some of it involves spoilers, so you can read more after the break.

WARNING: THE REST OF THE POST CONTAINS SAN ANDREAS SPOILERS, TO THE EXTENT THAT A DISASTER MOVIE REVIEW CAN ACTUALLY CONTAIN SPOILERS.

Continue reading San Andreas: The Uncanny Valley (Fault Line?) Of Disaster Movies

Time For Some Gratuitous Violence And Course Language

Sorry Jenny
Sorry Jenny

After the break, check out this awesome supercut celebrating some of the best action movie pre-mortem one liners.  As per the title, be aware of NSFW language and violence.

Continue reading Time For Some Gratuitous Violence And Course Language

That’s Not Really How It Works!: Civics And The Fictional Presidency

We all know the story about the timing of the issue that featured this panel, right?
We all know the story about the timing of the issue that featured this panel, right?

I greatly enjoy DC Comics’ Showcase Presents series of black and white reprints.  Sometimes they feature obscure characters, or just stories that would be far too expensive to hunt down the original comics in order to read, and at the price of below $15 each, the 500+ pages are generally worth it.  Besides, sometimes there’s some outright screwiness going on.  Take the original appearance of longtime foe of the Aton the Floronic Man, Jason Woodroe.  At the end of the issue, there’s a quick courtroom scene where a judge states that he is going to be handling certain procedures before Woodroe can be hauled off to a federal court for the crime of attempting to take over the world.

This tickles me for the very implications of what that panel suggests, namely that in that universe, the United States Congress proposed, debated, voted on, and passed a bill outlawing attempted world conquest.  Said law was then signed by a president.  I am sure for the juvenile readers of the original stories, this doesn’t seem too wild, but really, that’s the sort of thing that really catches my attention.

That said, let’s look at some fictional presidents.

Continue reading That’s Not Really How It Works!: Civics And The Fictional Presidency

The Survivor’s Tail

Don't worry.  This article will not harm a hair on his body.
Don’t worry. This article will not harm a hair on his body.

GoDaddy.com, a company that annually makes a Superbowl ad wherein there’s some implied female nudity if you visit their site, decided to pull this year’s ad that featured a puppy being sold online.  It seems people were outraged about an implied abuse of a puppy, probably from a puppy mill for the commercial’s storyline, from a company that routinely makes commercials that objectify women.  What gives?  Does our society value dogs more than people?

In a word, it appears the answer to that question is “yes”.

Continue reading The Survivor’s Tail