John Evans' Blog

Before I forget…the LSC Sci-Fi Marathon!

by on Feb.06, 2009, under Uncategorized

So! Two weeks ago, Saturday January 24th, I went up to Boston (well, Cambridge) for the LSC Sci-Fi Marathon!

Marathon 2009 Flickr Set

Of course, first I had to get to Cambridge. I boarded a Megabus bus from near Penn Station (a bit of a change from the Chinese buses I usually take). Megabus seemed pretty nice, a modern bus, warm, apparently even with Wi-Fi, or that’s what they said. The bad news was that a girl sat behind me and talked on her cellphone about all the drama in her life for about an hour…sigh.

Well, eventually I got to Cambridge and I made my way to Harvard Square. I stopped in at Tokyo Kid and got a Tsubasa volume…(Tokyo Kid anime figure display!) I also stopped in at Newbury Comics for the first time in years. It was pretty nostalgic. I noticed they had a USB turntable on sale and signs proclaiming that they were willing to demonstrate it. I bought the collection of Invasion!, because I remember reading part of the first issue many years ago at Forbidden Planet. (I also noticed that on the cover it said “Invasion!–Secret No More!”. And the copyright date was 2008. Hmmm…)

After that I stopped in a CVS and got some stuff I needed. I was looking for string, but they didn’t have any; however, the helpful cashier (I suspect he was of Indian extraction) pointed me to a nearby hardware store. It was kind of amazing; three floors of a hardware store stuck into an ordinary urban building. How did I live in Cambridge so many years and not know about it?!?…anyway, I got some string.

Then I went to Harvest Co-Op and got some food. Finally I went along to MIT! After wandering through underground passages, I finally made it to 26-100. So, on with the films!

Before the films, we started with Horses on Mars. I always like this, except it’s kind of a downer.

First: Jurassic Park. I’d seen this a couple of times before. What I noticed this time around was how Spielberg took the opportunity to produce interesting “moments” in the film…things that were just cool to watch for some reason or another. Interesting. Now I’m looking back and wondering if that’s a hallmark of his directing style. (I’ve never actually studied film at all!)

Next: Brazil. Man, what a downer. I’d seen this one before too, of course. This time around I found myself wondering what I was supposed to get out of it. Just the evocation of a dystopian society? There were times when it seemed to me like the hero was doing stupid things. On the other hand, the time he tries to be smart, it doesn’t work out. Hmmm…odd.

Next: Doctor Who (#10, David Tennant): Blink. I enjoyed this one because of the nifty time travel application. However, I don’t really like horror stuff, so I try to “ignore” being scared. I didn’t realize that people in the audience would actually scream at certain points. It was kind of impressive!

Somewhere in here were classic sci-fi movie trailers…Logan’s Run is the only one I can recall at the moment. They’re always fun. However, there really weren’t as many short films as there sometimes are. Kind of disappointing. :/ There was one weird CG one about experiments on a strange creature called a “headius maximus”…very odd. Almost reminded me of an SCP thing…

Next: Southland Tales. …Weirdest damn movie…Well, it was interesting, and it had all sorts of amazing people; Duane “TheRock” Johnson, Sarah Michelle “Buffy” Gellar, John “Dan Fielding” Larroquette, Wallace “Never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line!” Shawn, Justin “He sings or something?” Timberlake…Basically it seemed to be two things: First, an alternate history of the last few years where terrorism has prompted the US to become totalitarian, and second, a quasi-SF retelling of the Book of Revelation. And there was one moment where, if I were the guy, I would say…”RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST AN ATM!” But it was interesting, it made me think a bit, even if I’m not sure there was any real “point” to it. I guess that’s why I go to these things, to be exposed to things I wouldn’t normally see. 😉

And finally: Planet of the Apes! Yes, the old school 1968 one! I’ve seen it before, and before at the Marathon, of course. It does seem to hold up fairly well, if you don’t peer too hardly into the premise. (They spent millions of dollars on sending astronauts out that would never come back? The apes speak English?) For what it was, it was quite good. So that was fun.

Oh, and after that was a Disney cartoon about Goofy buying and setting up a widescreen TV to watch “the big game”. I can see what they were trying to do there…techie stuff, apparently there was a sporting event going on soon…still, it was a little odd. But okay, it sent us home with a smile.

After that I went and hung around at the MIT Student Center…I learned that the arcade is no longer there. 🙁 Ah, well…I went and hung around at LaVerde’s, then ultimately I went and visited with my uncle. We had Chinese food that night, then Monday morning I went home (on Fung Wah Bus this time.) And that’s it!

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5 comments for this entry:
  1. vincentursus

    I started reading this post a week ago.

    Then I followed that link to the SCP site.

  2. johnevans

    It’s amazing, isn’t it? 😉

  3. vincentursus

    Well, unsurprisingly the quality was a bit uneven.

    Still the average was pretty good and there was some quite neat ideas in there.

  4. johnevans

    Have you checked out SCP-222? 😉

  5. vincentursus

    Yep, that was one of the good ones.

    I read a large proportion of the SCPs.

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