This is a bit different, as its really just my theories on the “flash sideways” in light of this most recent episode:

Maybe the flash-sideways is showing us WHY people are choosing the sides they way they are. Showing us that under different circumstances, people would me making similar choices to what they are doing on the Island.

For example, given different circumstances, Sayid would still be a killer for Nadia’s sake.

Ben, given different circumstances would sacrifice his power for Alex (weird when she’s just a student at his school [Side note: Rousseau never crashed on the Island, and is still perfectly sane living in LA. Does anyone else want to see how she would have ended up as much as I do?], and not his adopted daughter). Which is a major shift from his choices on the Island, but justifies why he would want to try to do the right thing currently.

Kate, given different circumstances, would still follow Claire around wanting to take care of her and her baby (that one is a stretch, but she’s following the evil people around).

Jack, given different circumstances, would still want to be the best leader he can be.

Locke, if he wasn’t dead, would have lost faith (does that even count?).

From that point of view, maybe it makes sense? But it doesn’t change that these still aren’t our characters. The characters we know were shaped by the Island at every turn, these haven’t been.

I’d also like to point out that Ben was still shot and saved by the others, and people were told that he wouldn’t be the same after that. AltBen went through that experience, while evidence shows that BenPrime very likely DIDN’T (judging by normal time travel / alternate universe theories).

Of course, I’m just going by the “normal” “time travelers create an alternate timeline” idea, which the writers deny. But we’ve got TWO timelines, one where the Losties are displaced in time and set off the bomb, which apparently doesn’t happen in the Prime timeline because the Island is still there. However, there is still evidence that the Losties were displaced in time in the Prime timeline (ZombieLocke giving Richard the compass to give to RealLocke, the picture shown to Sun with the Losties in DHARMA, people referring to the “Incident”, and so on). I’m just thinking out loud here, so the contradictions are intentional. It’s very likely that both Bens forgot getting shot and were “changed forever” and “lost their innocence”, and maybe that’s part of what the AltLine is showing us. Maybe that Ben can overcome his badness without having to learn from his mistakes that he can’t take back…

LOST THOUGHTS: “Lighthouse”

Live from the Fairfield Inn in Chesapeake, VA comes, without benefit of DVR or HD, LOST THOUGHTS!!!

  • AltJack is worried about his appendix scar for some reason.  And has a kid?!
  • Hugo sees Jacob in the Temple.  Why doesn’t he appear to someone less… Hugo?
  • Jacob wants Hugo to help someone find the Island.  Widmore perhaps?
  • AltJack has a rebellious teenage son who listens to rock music?  How original!  But where did he come from?  The actor looks a lot like Matthew Fox, that’s impressive.
  • ZombieSayid wants to know the truth.  Jack knows he can handle the truth!  Everyone wants to kill him, but how can you kill that which is already dead….
  • I told you that Claire = Rousseau, but no one listened!  Look at our jungle princess now!
  • AsianGuy is upset to hear that Hugo knows he’s a candidate, and Jacob is upset that Hugo can’t get Jack to work with him.  Poor Hugo…
  • Hugo knows how to push Jack’s buttons saying the secret passphrase “You have it in you”.  Jack has easy buttons.
  • Looks like RousseauClaire isn’t going to follow her spiritual mother’s footsteps and torture Jin for information.  But she is going to torture that one Other.  That’s more like it.
  • AltJack has to drive the ugliest car known to man.
  • AltJack is sober, that’s good.  Not having to go back to the Island will sober a man, I suppose.
  • Wow, AltChristian left AltClaire stuff in his will.  How thoughtful of him.
  • You know, even though she’s still after MY BABY, RousseauClaire is considerably more awesome than RegularClaire.
  • Wow, the caves.  It’s been so long!
  • AltJack’s Kid ran away.  Poor AltJack.  AltJack’s Kid is a musical prodigy and AltJack had no idea.  Poor AltJack.  I just like saying AltJack.  ALTJACK!
  • “Good times”.  I love Hugo.
  • Jack is broken and wanted the Island to fix him.  Too bad Jack can’t be more like AltJack.  ALTJACK!
  • Now how the HECK did we never see this lighthouse before?  Oh, Jack said that as I was typing it.  “We weren’t looking for it”.  Whatever.
  • Why didn’t Jin tell RousseauClaire that Kate took her baby before she started torturing the Other.  NOW look what she did.  She’s all kinds of crazy.  Is RousseauClaire going to be grateful that Kate got the baby off the Island?  Or blame her? DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUN!
  • I’m guessing the lighthouse is figurative, or supernatural in that turning it on will allow those on the outside to find the Island.
  • We’re given an awful lot about AltJack in this episode.  Why does he have such a terrible relationship with his son?
  • HOLY BALLS.  AltAsianGuy!  My brain hurts.
  • The mirrors in the lighthouse have to be at 108 degrees.  The total of The Numbers.  Does each degree have a NAME on it?  IT DOES!  The numbers in the cave correspond with the numbers on the lighthouse, which corresponds with the Numbers.  THE NUMBERS ARE PEOPLE!
  • Now you’ve gone and done it, Jack.  Ruined our chances of getting answers because you couldn’t wait.  YOUR IMPATIENCE HAS DOOMED US ALL!
  • AltJack’s Kid is afraid of letting AltJack down.  Just like Christian never believed in Jack!  DRAMA!
  • Jacob doesn’t care that Hugo didn’t accomplish anything.  OK, Jack needs to figure out what he’s on the Island for.  How is he supposed to figure anything out from seeing his house in a mirror?
  • Why is Jin lying about Kate raising Aaron?  What on EARTH does he think he can accomplish with this?  Capturing RousseauClaire?  Why?
  • So RousseauClaire was upset at the idea of Kate raising Aaron.
  • Um, does RousseauClaire see Locke, or does she KNOW she’s been following the Smoke Monster this whole time?

By the way, anyone who says they can’t tell the difference between Standard Def and High Def is crazy.  Ugh, the fuzz….

Flying Solo

An experiment in creative blogging.

Friday was another day at work.  Sure, I was getting stressed out about problems some of the people in our Chesapeake office were having that I couldn’t fix, but it had been that way all week.  I was almost used to it.  Since we’re getting ready to basically tear out everything IT related and rebuild all of our connections and servers from scratch, we have been having a lot of meeting with people wanting us to pay them to help us out.  After a few of those meetings, my boss comes into the office I share with my IT coworker and says that the owner of the company is getting really nervous about those people in Chesapeake not being able to do what they need to do, and the customer is probably going to start freaking out soon.  She told him that she wanted me to go down to Chesapeake and try to help in person.  My boss and I have both been trying to help with no progress all week, so we actually laughed at the prospect of sending me down there.

An hour or so later, I got a call from one of the VPs.  I go to her office, and my boss is there.  Turns out that the owner was dead serious about me going to Chespeake.  I was in shock.  Afraid that I wouldn’t be able to fix their problems any better from there, I was told that this was more for PR than anything else.  Since we don’t have an IT person out in Chesapeake, we need to show the customer that we care enough to send the very best (ok, I added “the very best” part).  Still, I though, surely they can’t get everything I need to fly to Virginia at 2:30 on a Friday to have me there by Monday!  It turns out that they can, rather easily.  The travel expenses were deposited into my bank account and I had a flight, hotel, and rental car shortly afterward. Continue reading “Flying Solo”

LOST THOUGHTS: “The Substitute”

  • AltLocke is engaged to his phone-sex operator?!  Crazy, the Island not existing changed a whole lot.
  • Esau has a fast travel mode as the Smoke Monster.  Good for him!
  • AltLocke lied about going on a seminar so he could lie about going on a walkabout?
  • Why are they flashing sideways from AltLocke and Esau impersonating Locke?
  • If the Smoke Monster can see ghosts, what does that mean for all of the ghosts we figured were the Smoke Monster?
  • Esau promises answers to Sawyer.  Not only answers, THE answer to the questions from the Pilot.
  • AltHugo is a nice guy, like always.  So Alt2004 isn’t a Star Trek-type mirror universe where everyone is the opposite…
  • For everyone wanting to “flee” to the temple, they’re all rather calm about it.
  • OK, Sawyer can see Ghost Boy whoever too.
  • Why didn’t Esau shift into Smoke Monster form to chase the kid?
  • Ghost Boy says the Esau isn’t allowed to kill “him”, Jacob I’m guessing.  So the kid isn’t reincarnated Jacob…
  • Richard!  He’ll explain things!  Esau wants everyone dead.  Everyone who Jacob called to the Island, I guess…
  • AltRose works for a temp agency owned by AltHugo.  Was this the case in LostTime?
  • Esau is trapped on the Island as a spirit.  He was betrayed and lost someone he loved.  He is stuck in Locke form, but can still change into the Monster.
  • AltLocke is a non-believer.  At least someone in this mirror universe is opposite.
  • So, Esau has a cave with everyone’s name, and a number from The Numbers assigned to each one.  VERY interesting.
  • Ben Linus, European History?  Very interesting profession for AltBen (I guess he came out on the boat.
  • Ah, its Jacob’s cave.  Jacob touched each person’s life, and figure they were part of the Numbers?  Nice of the show to show us exactly what they mean with the flashbacks.
  • Kate’s name isn’t in the cave.
  • They’re all eligible to be the next Jacob?  Interesting, but we all assumed Locke would take up that role in the end.
  • Sawyer has joined the dark side.  Figures.

LOST THOUGHTS: “What Kate Does”

Pre-show Thoughts:

  • I like the title of the episode, as it calls back the classic “What Kate Did”, one of the first episodes that centered around directly answering questions.
  • I just realized that Alt2004 has no Farraday, Widmore, Eloise, Richard, Ben, or anyone else we met in 1977 as they were all on the Island when it blew.  Or at least, it shouldn’t


  • The flashes do make a different sound.  Neither the flashback, flashforward, or time skip sound.  I like it.  It has a creaking ship sound towards the end.
  • So Sawyer is the runner now.  Good riddance, I’m tired of him honestly.
  • Why would The Others torture Zombie/Jesus Sayid?  Ah, they must have been making sure he felt pain so he wasn’t the Smoke Monster?
  • Justin wants to tell us what’s going on.  Don’t hit him, let him talk!
  • Is Sayid infected with whatever got Rousseau’s team got?
  • Japanese guy leans on Jack’s weakness: taking responsibility for everything.
  • ZombieSayid denies being a zombie.  He would.
  • Was Claire still told she shouldn’t give up the baby if the physic was getting tips from the Island?
  • Why would Sawyer have hidden things in the floorboards of his house?  If they’re mementos of Juliet, why would he have hidden them?
  • ETHAN!?!?!?!?!  He’s a real baby doctor!  He doesn’t want to stick her with needles if he doesn’t have to.  LOL
  • MY BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Kate and Claire are destined to raise this baby together.
  • Japanese guy won’t give us ANSWERS!  That’s what we want!
  • So they want to kill ZombieSayid?  Aim for the head!
  • Esau/MIB is sure taking his sweet time to “free” everyone during all this.
  • So the Smoke Monster acts like the Borg?  Assimilating the body?
  • Whoa, Claire was assimilated?
  • Claire has replaced Rousseau as the crazy lady in the forest?

I still can’t seem to care about the AltLosties.  Heck, I barely care about the RegularLosties at this point.  I just want answers!


  • So they decided to let us have our cake and eat it too.  They couldn’t have stopped The Incident or they wouldn’t have gotten onto the Island at all.  So they show us both the Island unchanged and what would have happened to everyone had the plane not crashed.
  • Jacob’s Enemy (Esau) is the Smoke Monster, confirmed 100%.  Good to know, but you’d think Jacob would have said “Hey Ben, stop fraternizing with the Smoke Monster, he’s a bad guy.”
  • Jack’s dad’s body never got on the plane?  What about the empty casket they found in Season 1?  Where did Jacob get Christian’s body to play with?
  • Jacob seemed pretty fine for being dead.  Maybe this happens a lot?
  • Guitar case held an ankh, with a note inside it that says if Sayid dies then “we’re all in a lot of trouble.”  Sayid, really?  What happened to Walt being so important or any of the other people who have supernatural powers or freaking Desmond?  Maybe all of the O6 has to stay alive for some reason?
  • Sayid got baptized!  Asian guy knows kung fu!  Sayid did not survive the baptism?  I guess we’re all in a lot of trouble!
  • So, AltKate escapes, but with Claire in the taxi.   I guess she’ll always be responsible for Aaron…
  • The Others freak out when they hear Jacob is dead.  I guess they expect an invasion by “him”.
  • Esau wants to leave the Island?  Jacob had to die to make that happen?  If he’s not using Locke’s body and is just a copy, he’s just an apparition.  How does he expect to leave?
  • So Richard’s Others and the Other Others were just hanging out by the Four-toed Statue even though the 4 guys they sent in with guns never came out?
  • Is all this Alt2004 stuff going somewhere?  Is this what we should expect all season instead of flashforwards/sideways, etc?
  • Esau has come to free Jacob’s “slaves”, but kicks the crap out of Richard and carries him off saying he’s disappointed.  In what?
  • Sayid is back from the dead!  ZombieSayid!

Overall, I’d give this season premiere a “meh”.  All it did was confirm things we already guessed.  Remember when you couldn’t predict this show at all?  Ah, to be back in the first season…

Aspect Ratios: A Primer

I have a pet peeve, and it has to do with aspect ratios.  I’ve been wanting to put together a lesson for my faithful readers.  For those who don’t know, aspect ratios are the shapes that TV/movie screens and the programs they show have.  There are 3 standard ratios in my mind:


This is the ratio that a lot of movies are shot/rendered in.  It’s the wider screen you get at the theaters.


This is the ratio of standard definition TVs.  Most TV programming was done in this ratio, and still is for the most part.


This is the ratio of HDTVs and some movies.  This was chosen as a good medium between CinemaScope and SDTV.

My examples are going to be from Star Wars, because its awesome, and Adywan’s color-corrected version, because its more awesome.  I chose this particular image because it was the scene I saw in theaters where I first noticed the difference between aspect ratios.

Star Wars and other movies are filmed like this:

This is what was seen in theaters.  But how do you see Star Wars at home?  There are two ways: “widescreen” or “fullscreen”.

Continue reading “Aspect Ratios: A Primer”

REVIEWS: 2009 Movie Review Retrospective

This is a retrospective of the movies I saw in theaters this year.  I’ve arranged the movies in the order in which I would recommend them.  You might notice that the listing doesn’t match up exactly with the ratings I gave them originally, but that’s the point in a retrospective.

  1. Avatar
    Yes, I’m going to do it.  I’m going to put the last movie I saw at the top of the list.  But this movie changes so much about movies in general, that I can’t help but put it at the top.
  2. Star Trek
    JJ did the impossible and made a great Star Trek movie that manages to both reboot and continues the series in a worthy manner.
  3. District 9
    Surprisingly good, partly because the ad campaign gave nothing away and partly because it was heartwarming and action filled.
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
    I think this movie can finally stand alone as a good movie, not just a good Harry Potter movie.
  5. Up
    It’s Pixar.  It’s funny, heartwarming, doesn’t talk down to you or your kids, and looks amazing.
  6. Drag Me To Hell
    A good balance of funny and scary, with a satisfying ending.
  7. Zombieland
    While Zombieland wasn’t exactly what I wanted, it was still tons of fun.
  8. 2012
    The world is literally falling apart and they want us to care about individual people?
  9. The Twilight Saga: New Moon
    My least favorite book of the series turns into a dull movie.
  10. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
    A movie built on the cliché that bigger is better, which it definitely isn’t in this case.
  11. Terminator Salvation
    Skynet reveals their big plan and its a Terminator with free will?  All I know is that it could have been worse.  A lot worse.  It’s still pretty bad.
  12. The Hangover
    Funny, but highly inappropriate.  Can’t really recommend it.
  13. The Men Who Stare At Goats
    Advertised as a slap-stick comedy, its more of a dark comedy, and not very comedic at that.
  14. Watchmen
    So long, so boring, so weird.
  15. Hannah Montana: The Movie
    Yet another “movie” version of a TV show that manages to not be a game changer, even when that’s supposed to be the moral of the story!
  16. Year One
    Probably the worst movie I’ve ever seen.  Unfunny comedy, cringe-worth dialog, every scene dragged on and on.  First movie we literally talked out loud about walking out of.

REVIEW: Avatar (2009)

A whole new world.

Summary: It’s 2154 and a marine who lost the use of his legs finds a new opportunity to take his twin brother’s place controlling an alien body on a beautiful planet.  His job is to study the natives and maybe convince them to relocate so the humans can have a rare substance on their land.  However, he finds that betraying the natives is a lot harder after they accept him as one of their own.

Thoughts: James Cameron hasn’t made a movie since Titanic.  The mind that brought us Terminator and Aliens has been out of action since 1997.  However, this movie has been in his mind since before then.  Finally, the technology caught up with his vision, and unlike George Lucas and the Prequels, Cameron’s vision was worth waiting for.

While the story may have been told before, its never been told this well.  Every aspect of the film is technologically superior to anything that has come before, CGI or live action.  The characters are incredibly life-like (Sigourney Weaver’s Avatar is obviously alien and obviously Sigourney).  The mannerisms of each actor is brought through their CGI counterparts perfectly.  The planet itself is beautiful as well.  I found myself lost in the CGI, forgetting it was computer-generated several times.  The action was fantastic, the plot engrossing, and it was genuinely entertaining.

I got to see it in 3D, which I have to recommend.  Cameron designed it to be seen in 3D, and it is exquisite.  Most of it is very subtle and really helps bring you into the movie.

Overall: Beautiful, thrilling, groundbreaking.  While I wouldn’t say it changes everything about filmmaking, it certainly changes a whole lot.