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Top 10 Movie Spaceships
Saturday, January 27, 2007
There are many movie spaceships but which one is the best in the universe? Some rules formed this list: these are spaceships from movies (TV spaceships like Battlestar Galactica or Draconian Marauder from Buck Rogers don’t count) and real space crafts. Flying cars and rockets don’t count. It turns out that we have lot of great spaceships, so I apologize in advance to Borg Cube, Imperial Star Destroyer, X-Wing Fighter, many other Star Trek and Star Wars low grade ships and all other ships that we know of.

10. The Thunder Road (Explorers) – Advantage: Invisible. Source of power is 9V battery size generator. No Inertia. Damage resistant; can pass through ground with no problem at all. Flaws: Named after Bruce Springsteen song and only for kids.

9. Gunstar (The Last Starfighter) – If you win enough points in a video game, you might be recruited to fly Gunstar and defend Frontier from Xur and Ko-Dan fleet! Weapons are standard but with a little bonus: the "Death Blossom", which automatically aims at any ship within range of weapons and destroys it. Why they didn’t install it as a regular system remains a mystery.

8. Mothership (Independence Day) – Despite of its absurd vulnerability for human made computer viruses, this bad boy possesses one of the most impressive arsenal of weapon in movie history. And it’s huge: quarter of a Moon. Inside, it carries 30 smaller ships, each one is big as Manhattan and possesses incredible beam weapon for destruction of a city. It is also resistant to all known weapons except Randy Quaid.

7. Klingon Bird of Prey (Star Trek) – “Bird of Prey” never fit in alongside Federation starships, but their wing like shape gives them lethal design in movie space technology Hall of Fame. Put some leather seats in it and you’ll have a Ferrari among spaceships.

6. Discovery One (2001: A Space Odyssey) – This massive ship, shaped like a pencil, is designed for long term explorations. The Jupiter spacecraft Discovery One carries three one-man EVA pods, centrifuge that creates artificial gravity, and, well, one buggy computer system – HAL 9000. Despite technical problems, HAL’s red eye is hypnotically invincible.

5. Apollo 13 (Apollo 13) – One real spaceship on this list and without doubt, most heroic ship of them all. It flew only once, reached the Moon and barely returned to Earth in on piece… and they were welcomed by Kathleen Quinlan. Ha.

4. Heart of Gold (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) – If we disregard it’s weird ball like design (inspired by a teapot), Incredible Endless Ride in this ship performs a very interesting stunt trick: Traveling through every point of Universe in a single moment. Don’t bang your head against wall, instead enjoy in a personal ship computer and robotized things.

3. Nostromo (Alien) – Nostromo is not your regular space freighter, because it carries with it a huge ore excavator. Even though it has no weapons, when it receives a command for auto destruction (rather complex one), it completes it with a style. It was underestimated ship, but it could land on a planet and pick up certain alien life forms… which turned out to be not such a good idea.

2. U.S.S. Enterprise (various versions) (Star Trek) – Even though it is originated from a series, Enterprise truly expressed itself in a movie serial. Earlier ships stand out with their photon torpedoes and pre-selection for auto destruction, but this was the only ship that could literally go back and forth through time. Holodeck? Cute. And those transporters had a killing dose in them. Later versions of a ship had ability of splitting in two parts.

1. Millennium Falcon (Star Wars) – It is probably not that big surprise to see Falcon on top of this list, but really, who would thought that a light freighter of quarrelsome smuggler, would be that important in saving of a Galaxy. Armed with 2 Quad laser cannons, 1 Mounted Anti-Infantry Swivel Laser Cannon, Dymek Concussion Missiles, Tractor Beam Projector, hyperdrive, and space for eight passengers, Millennium Falcon easily earned its first place. If you can find other ship that can made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs, please let us know.

posted by Miki @ 23:06   6 comments
Need a Good Painter?
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Before photo - typical concrete & stucco facade.

Preparing the canvas - by plastering the wall surface.

The wall starts to take on a 3-dimensional appearance.

Eric in his element, 30' off the ground. He does most of the artwork by himself & researches, paints and designs each project from scratch. His wife Kathy, also an artist, serves as project manager.

** Finished product **

Here are some more examples of Eric's projects...

Great American Crossroad - Bucyrus , Ohio - Before...


Liberty Remembers


After - hard to believe you're looking at a flat 2-dimensional wall.

How to dress up a drab Shopping Mall - Niagara , NY


After - close-up of left side and middle

After... (I wonder how many birds fly into this wall on a daily basis??)

Indoor Murals - Miller Brewery...

Hallway Before - Miller Fermenting Rooms

After Photos - Past meets Present in the Miller Brewery Fermenting Rooms - hooks, clipboards and aprons were added to the surface of the murals to enhance the illusion...
You're looking at flat walls!

Detail view looking down the illusional hallway in the previous mural.

posted by Miki @ 14:10   2 comments
49 dumbest movie moments
Thursday, January 4, 2007
1. POINT BREAK (1991)
Compromised FBI agent, Keanu Reeves, is forced to help in escape of robber, Patrick Swayze. Patrick jumps out of plane with last parachute… And then… Incredible Keanu jumps out too, without parachute and manages to catch bandit in the air. Now we have incredible air ballet and successful landing!!? Compared to this, 007 stunts look like BBC documentary.

2. ENIGMA (2001)
Code breaker, scientist Scott and his assistant in form of Kate Winslet, grab a part of German code machine, Enigma. But British Intelligence follows them closely… And then… We have slowest and most boring car chase in history of movies. 15 kph? They would go faster with tractors.

3. ADAPTATION. (2002)
Writer Charlie Kaufman is imprisoned in a swamp by John Laroche and Susan Orlean, subject and author of his adaptation “The Orchid Thief”. Laroche points the gun… And then… Alligator attacks Laroche and ends a good movie with most amazing trick. Well, that is the point. But it is also very stupid.

4. HOOK (1991)
You got to admit, pretty good beginning of a movie. Middle-aged Peter Pan returns to Neverland… And then… We have Lost Boys in a form of caricaturization of British fashion scene from, maybe 1982. Costume makers and all others responsible for that, should be punished, accordingly.

Stallone in a pretty good story, on a very unusual place. Everything is interesting, there is suspense and it is all good… And then… He impales one of the bad guys on a stalactite. Yes, stalactite. Well, now he tried everything (literally).

Cameron Diaz and her jubilant friends Christina Applegate and Selma Blair, are in a restaurant and talk about… well mostly they talk about male genitalia. And then… “You're too big to fit in here, too big to fit in here, too big to fit in here” sings Diaz, on a melody of “I’m too sexy” by Right Said Fred. Soon everyone from restaurant jump up and start to sing, what it looks like an ode to penis. Well now…

7. xXx (2002)
Modern version of 007, Vin Diesel is in bad situation. While he exits restaurant in Prague a hidden sniper shoots at him. And then… Extreme sports solution, tray instead of snowboard. There, there Vin…

Great begining of Victor Salva movie. Two kids are harassed by a mysterious man with a hat that drives a black van. And then… Salva shows what he thinks of movie audience, he thinks they have amnesia. Man with the hat was first run over by car, revived and then flys to the air as a giant bat. And he doesn’t explain that in part two. Stupid.

9. SIGNS (2002)
Master of suspense, M. Night Shyamalan carefully keeps tension up as family of Mel Gibson is facing alien threat. And then… Mel discovers that aliens can be killed by… a glass of water? Which means that those genius aliens, with advanced civilization, decided to colonize planet that is 2/3 under water. And what would happen when it starts to rain?

10. THE POSTMAN (1997)
Things are not looking good for Costner’s post-apocalyptic career as a postman. Psychotic Will Patton is about to shoot him. And then… Kevin calms situation down with Shakespeare citation: “Now is the winter of our discontent.” “You are not bad.” - says crying Patton. Kevin lives. Corollary: Stupid survived apocalypse.

11. PEARL HARBOR (2001)
After Tokyo Run, Josh Hartnett’s character is mortally wounded. Ben Affleck is carrying him. And then… Conversation gets interesting because they both find out that they had sex with Kate Beckinsale. Ben: “You’ll be a father!” Josh: “No, you will.” And then he dies.

12. LOGAN'S RUN (1976)
At the end of Michael Anderson’s ode to euthanasia, Jenny Agutter and Michael York manage to successfully escape. And then… We have appearance of unnecessary robot-killer transformed into fish market seller… “Fish, planktons, proteins from the sea…” What is the threshold for stupidity?

Alien hybrid clone, Ripley is created as a part of experiment in attempt to control xenomorphs. As usual, everything goes bad and Ripley tries to escape from spaceship that is full of Aliens, with help of android (Winona Ryder). And then… Ripley screams: „It’s the Queen, she is in pain!” Queen is ready to give birth to even scarier specie… But, instead of horror, there comes a monster covered with white chocolate and tongue of Jamie Oliver. Oh, endless space, oh, endless stupidity.

14. TITANIC (1997)
Gigantic ship collides with iceberg. Water is rushing in, construction is screeching and collapsing and everybody panics… And then… Billy Zane refuses to embark on one of the life boats. He goes back for revenge against his fiancée (Winslet) and her lover (Leo). He shoots frenetically and misses every time. Gun site is not adjusted, that must be it.

15. THE 13th WARRIOR (1999)
Antonio Banderas sits by the fire with a group of Vikings. Problem: Arabs do not speak Viking language, really. And then… After few remarks, Banderas speaks it fluently. “How did you learn our language?” asks one of the Vikings. “I listened” answers Banderas. Come on now Antonio!

Kirk and co. need to infiltrate into alien base, surrounded by guards. And then… Kirk sends Uhura as a sexy decoy. She dances for guards. Their attention is all on her. But she is 56 years old! And you can see that. Sickos!

17. DEMONS (1985)
Dario Argento, very cautious screenplay writer, had a bad moment. Imprisoned in a movie theater, no way out, demons are coming… And then … Our heroes find parked bike in lobby. They break through the ceiling with it?! Just like that. Super.

18. JAWS 2 (1978)
Group of kids cruises around when sinister fin shows up. Boat falls apart, kids end up in water. Shark begins her feast. And then… Out of nowhere comes a helicopter and it tries to save children from trouble. It lands on water, but shark gets sudden urge for metal. Helicopter, motor, rotor and everything else is dragged deep in water. Shark is unstoppable now. She could take on Titanic.

19. CONTACT (1997)
After months of working, Jodie Foster finally launches into space toward distant location. Whole world holds its breath. Audience in the theater also. And then… Aliens show up in form of her dead father. On a beach. He talks about humans as interesting species, and then returns her home. Illogical, stupid and boring. Brilliant!

20. LEGAL EAGLES (1986)
Daryl Hannah as Chelsea, the painter, is one crazed up misses, traumatized by death of her father in a fire. She calls Robert Redford, lawyer Tom Logan, into her apartment. And then… It turns out that Hannah is performance artist obsessed with fire. Or at least director Ivan Reitman has certain problems with matches or fire.

21. DEMON SEED (1977)
Super computer Proteus hunts for the most part of the movie, molests and in the end rapes captive Julie Christie. Reason? Proteus wants to create his heir. And then… Any suspense left is for a birth of a thing that looks like a reject from TV show Buck Rogers.

Kid is trapped in a corner by dangerous velociraptor, same one that tore apart a lot of bad guys with guns. And then… Little kid runs, somersaults and hits raptor in snout, using, check this… power of gymnastics. It is good to pay attention in gym class. Healthy body/Healthy spirit.

23. THE ABYSS (1989)
Everything was going as it was supposed to. Harsh environment, high pressure madness, hallucination… Ed Harris makes contact with Medusa-like aliens. One problem: he can’t go back to surface. And then… Aliens decide to move their pink Frisbee, 15 km long and bring Ed to surface. So deep! You can almost lose your consciousness.

24. SPEED (1994)
Jan De Bont’s experience of Wages of Fear. Sandra and Keanu must not let the speed drop below 50 mph. Construction on road ahead. Unfinished bridge. What to do? And then… Sandra pushes pedal to the metal and bus flys through the air like paper kite. Lands like an eagle. Audience is thrilled and screams, confused with what they see. It’s airbus. Super!

Our heroes, Three musketeers, or four or I don’t know how many, led by Leo DiCaprio, rush into hail of bullets, real barrage. And then… When the smoke clears, they are all alive! Honor of France is saved and future generations of manufacturers will have someone to call their products by. Vive le stupid!

26. CAPE FEAR (1991)
Scorsese’s Raging Bull, dear De Niro, as Max Cady. Crazy as Looney Toons, rapes beats and assaults girls… Family of Nick Nolte tries to run away to safety. De Niro follows them. And then… Family tries to kill him. Lighter fuel? No. Drowning? No. Tied with cuffs to a sinking boat? No. Indestructible. Unstoppable. Simply amazing.

27. GODZILLA (1998)
Straight from the deep, 20 stories high… or 10… Sometimes even 50, actually it depends. Changeable size is not that important, it’s important that Godzilla is big. When it disappears, we think it died. And then… Godzilla comes from nowhere, manages to clear out New York’s population in 10 minutes, and then it chases a yellow cab. Corollary: watch out when you call a cab!

Ewan McGreggor goes out for a drink to a bar with his victim, bosses daughter, Cameron Diaz. It’s karaoke night. Are you scared yet? And then… McGreggor goes to the stage and starts to sing “Beyond the sea”. Cameron joins him with her angelic voice. Someone said it: You really need fantastic vocal talent. Oh, dear!

On a luxurious intergalactic spaceship-hotel, a concert is about to start. Bruce Willis is complaining. And then… Bluish alien, opera singer, starts her act with a help of a band that looks like a bunch of Chic band fans. There is sound in this movie. So Besson intervenes and dog-like alien kills diva. Cosmic justice.

30. DIE ANOTHER DAY (2002)
Another proof that, when we come to dumb things, 007 lead the way. Trapped in his vehicle, Bond is hanging of a glacier that would soon collapse. And then… Bond uses parachute from a car to glide to safety, with cheap special effects. Fact that this scene is even dumber than the one with invisible car says it all.

31. DRACULA (1992)
Imprisoned in Dracula’s castle, Keanu Reeves is attacked by three vampire witches. They want sex, they want his blood… And then… All the tension disappears when Keanu puts his patented expression from Bill and Ted. For some reason he does that until the end of the movie.

Earth, 2024. Ex-immortal, Christopher Lambert, is an old guy and Earth is surrounded by a shield that replaces ozone layer. And then… We go to planet Zeist, 500 years to the past, to the time when Lambert and Connery were exiled… But wasn’t Lambert Scottish Highlander by birth, and Connery 2000 year old Egyptian? Adequately stupid beginning of one of the worst sequels ever.

Gorgeous blond Heather Graham has a problem with a purse snatcher. Her boyfriend, Joseph Fiennes goes after him to return stolen thing. And then… He catches the thief, knocks him down and hits him until he makes bloody mess out of his face. Graham runs to him and hugs her blood covered boyfriend. Obviously psychotic, Fiennes asks her to marry him. She agrees. Unbelievable!

Everything is happening on forest moon of Endor. Rebels are fighting against Imperial Walkers with a help of stupid space bears, Ewoks. And then… Laser beam hits one of the Ewoks. His partner, realizing that bear is gone, starts to cry. All explosions, lasers and screeching metal stop for this? Who cares? No one.

35. LOST IN SPACE (1998)
Galactic Robinson’s are lost on a distant planet. They meet older version of scientist Will Robinson, and they realize that they are lost in time too. OK, we can accept that. And then… Logic, common sense and quality are being sucked in a Black hole, when Gary Oldman gets replaced by a very stupid monster that is created to look like a stupid monster. Lobotomy for screenplay writer, Akiva Goldsman.

36. SUPERMAN III (1983)
Evil rich guy, Robert Vaughn, builds a chute on a roof of skyscraper. Halooo? His helper, Richard Pryor, skiing merrily on it with a table cloth around his neck. And then… Normally, he falls of a building, down several floors, bounces with his skis of a sloped roof and slowly and perfectly manages to land down. By some miracle, his bones didn’t turn to dust by a force of impact. UH!

37. SHOWGIRLS (1995)
There are so many things in this movie that will make wonder. Kyle MacLachlan as Hugh Hefner wannabe or Elizabeth Berkley in her too bimbo performance. Paul Verhoeven’s fooling around in Vegas, gets special touch when screenplay writer, Joe Eszterhas, realizes that movie has too much sex and no chimpanzees. And then… On a command – monkeys, comes a horde of chimpanzees. Who wanted to see this? Obviously Paul Verhoeven. Everyone, let’s pray for him.

38. LIFE OF BRIAN (1979)
Life of Brian has usual Monty Python humor. While Brian was escaping from Roman soldiers, he comes to top of the tower. And then… Extra from some of Terry Gilliam’s projects, in a shape of spaceship, grabs Brian, quickly drives him through galaxy and returns him to place where he picked him up. Too much even when it comes from Terry Gilliam.

Heroic astronaut Marky Mark, runs away with chimpanzee Helen Bonham Carter. Dangerous ape general, Tim Roth, goes after them. And then… Bored screenplay writer and director Tim Burton, gives us funny part of the story. Scenes from house life of monkeys. They wear wigs, have sex… Charlton Heston wouldn’t put up with this nonsense.

Sci-Fi Abbott and Costello, Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith, fly into giant alien ship, trying to save human race from extinction. And then… Jeff uploads virus from his laptop into alien computer system. Naturally, this works. Our civilization is saved because aliens don’t have firewalls and anti-virus protection. Of course they don’t, because they are stupid.

41. ESCAPE FROM L.A. (1996)
Snake Plissken returns. Snake meets Peter Fonda in stupid post apocalyptic Los Angeles. And then… Fascinated by computer graphic, John Carpenter allows himself interesting excess. Old surfer, Fonda, provokes Snake to a surfing… on a wave of lava. Prince of Darkness was imprisoned in something that they call lava lamp. Well, now he is free.

42. END OF DAYS (1999)
Judgment day is coming. Devil incarnation is destroying New York. Arnie prepares for final showdown. And then… amazing discovery by Father Kovak, that if you look at 1999 upside down, you get 666 (1 is extra). It’s good to see that years of studying theology were not thrown away.

Great moment for Neo: he’s about to blow up Matrix. He comes through every obstacle in his way, only needs to go through the door to fulfill prophecy. And then… He meets this small man that introduces himself as an Architect. Architect talks for 10 minutes about things that would be spoken by someone on LSD. He uses words like ergo and concordant. Audience murmurs: stupid anti-climax. Whatever!

Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala sneak through robot factory. Suddenly they ran into C3PO and R2D2. And then… Tiny robot ejects wings, fires his rocket engines and fly in the air. Whistle that you hear is not from those engines but from thousands of movie fans. Why didn’t he use these, obviously useful accessories, in future events?

After lot of trouble, amnesiac Matt Damon comes to contents of his safe in a Swiss bank. And then… He finds lots of passports, different banknotes and a gun. But the dull “who am I” expression seems to stay. For a long time.
Whole rows in a theater yell: You are secret agent you idiot, stupid…

You can almost smell the desperation. Figuring out that his movie about 5 Blair Witch fans is not scary at all, director Joe Berlinger moves his crew to a warehouse, where they discuss about lots of things. And then... special effects. With a lot of broken glass, in a style of Renny Harlin, comes an owl.
Audience jumps from their seats and rushes to exit.

47. X-MEN (2000)
Big moment for Storm. She’s ready to grab annoying Toad. Unleashing full dose of her powers, she asks him: “Do you know what happens to a frog when it’s struck by a lightning?” Then we have the answer: “Same as to everything else.”
Audience is trying to figure out how many monkeys were disturbing writer while he was making this dialog.

48. BEACH (2000)
Leonardo DiCaprio arrives to famous island paradise. Only problem is that small Utopian hippie commune, that he finds there, soon starts to fall apart, and Leo falls into Vietnamese fantasy in a jungle. And then… In a bizarre twist, innovative director Danny Boyle, puts our hero in a video game. He runs through the jungle with computer animated tigers and spiders. If this movie had any atmosphere, that ruined it. Really!

Typical bar in Alaska. New age trapper Steven Seagal beats guy in his version of Red Hands. And then... Steven suddenly goes into philosophical mood “What is the nature of a man?” Drunken man turns into sobbing pudding. Bar gives a standing ovation, and in the theater, amazed audience picks their jaws from the floor.

posted by Miki @ 17:30   59 comments
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