Posts Tagged ‘The Get Down’

See You On the Other Side

June 24, 2017

I stood on the threshold of the portal. The surface of it was shiny like a mirror dusted with glitter. I could see strange neon-bright circuitry creeping over the walls next to the portal. Pretty soon, the invading technology would be advanced enough to grow a defense of the portal from that strange circuitry moss. Laser grids, grenade launchers, machine guns, sonic pulse emitters and anything else the stuff could think of. It was only a matter of when not if. We had to hurry.

I touched the communications button under my ear gingerly. I was a little wary of being watched in that hallway. “Marianne,” I said into the implanted microphone. “Timing is crucial. Are you going to get here in time?” There was a three-second pause that lasted an eternity.

“Yeah,” Marianne said as she rounded the corner a few feet away. “Hold your horses. It took a bit longer to get through security. This is getting even crazier than I thought.” She spotted the portal and her eyes went wide. “Much crazier.”

Marianne had been my client for the past month. She was the Chief Operating Officer of DOT Industries when the company started to act strangely. Strange orders started coming in and paperwork was getting fudged. When Marianne started to look into it, she had been reprimanded. When she persisted in investigating, she had been removed from her position with a healthy severance payment. She had used part of that severance to hire me. We had been digging for a month and now we had snuck into one of the buildings belonging to her former employers.

“That’s why you hired me,” I said. “I was right, by the way. We have an invasion in progress or at least that’s what it looks like.”

“So do I owe you twenty bucks?” She asked.

“I’m not really happy about it but yes,” I said. I gestured toward the portal. “Shall we?”

“We’re not going in there are we?” She asked. She had obviously been a tough executive but there was a difference between that and jumping into a strange portal. Adventuring took a different kind of guts and maybe a little stupidity.

“We have to know what is on the other side,” I said. “What did you think we were going to do?”

She pulled out a camera. “Well, take some pictures and get the word out.” She aimed the camera at the portal.

“No flash,” I said. “You might startle the moss.”

“Of course not,” Marianne replied. She snapped the picture and then two more to be safe.

“That thing doesn’t have any scanning technology, does it?” I asked. I was no scientist. I could pretty much tell the portal was stable but beyond that, I was out of my element. I would have loved a little more data.

“No,” She said. “However, it did upload to three different servers and it was sent to a friend of mine.”

I had to admire her drive and attention detail. “Well, if you’re done with the photography, we may never get another chance to see the other side of this thing.”

“How do we know we can get back?” She asked.

“I have a transponder on me that I can activate,” I said. “It will provide coordinates for our own portal. I have friends on standby too.”

“You think that will work?” She asked.

“It hasn’t failed me yet,” I said. “By the way, if that techno-organic moss is what I think it is, we should try and keep electronics close. They might be able to absorb our tech.”

“What about you?” She asked.

“What about me?” I asked, watching her watching me.

“Well, I don’t want to pry,” She said. “But don’t you have a lot of cybernetic parts?” I must have shown surprise on my face because she added. “I do my research before hiring anybody.”

“And you still hired me,” I said softly. Cybernetics and old school surgical corrections had fallen out of favor when genetic recombination and nanotechnology had advanced.

“I don’t judge,” She said. “You’re not less human to me. Just somebody who got broken and repaired the best way they knew how.”

I was surprised by the acceptance. “Um, thank you,” I said. “We really should be going, though. Anything could set off the alarms at any minute.”

“Um, can we breathe on the other side?” She asked.

“If it was dangerous over there, we would have already passed out,” I said.

“Comforting,” She said.

I nodded and drew my pistol from where it was shielded from scans, hidden in a cavity in my right hip. I ran through the portal. It felt like stepping through a curtain of falling mercury except for that right afterward you feel like you are falling. Except, you are still stepping forward in the same moment. It is incredibly disorienting which is probably why portal travel never caught on commercially. After a swirl of light and color, I came out on the other side. I stepped aside so that Marianne would not bump into me when she came through. Then I turned to look at what we had stumbled onto.

The place was absolutely covered in eye-searingly neon circuitry. The stuff had formed itself into structures either for purposes of form or function or both. It was hard to take in but it strikingly beautiful. I heard a soft rippling noise from the left of me. Then Marianne let out a soft and breathy ‘Wow’. I nodded, that was the word for it.

Media Update 9/15/2016

September 15, 2016


Almost Famous

I had heard about this movie when it came out but I was focused on watching the Matrix and the Lord of the Rings instead. I was also in rehearsal or in performance all the time. This was another movie that I was not ready to see even though it is about a kid in the same place I was when it came out. The movie is about a young high school kid who gets to go on tour with a struggling rock band in order to do an article for Rolling Stone Magazine. It feels way more plausible when you watch the movie. From the start of the movie they put out there how important music is. Music is what pulls us through life and it is music that we remember later in life, interwoven with the memories of our own lives. There are too many good performances here to name them all but I really liked Kate Hudson, Billy Crudup, Jason Lee, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Frances McDormand and especially young Patrick Fugit. The movie is a great road picture that is kind of what you expect but also not. It is definitely a great ode to the seventies and the great rock music that I grew up on because this was the music my parents embraced. I understand that this was semi-autographical for the director Cameron Crowe and it really shows. The movie is pretty funny but there is a lot of thoughtful drama in it as well. I really liked this movie and I definitely recommend it.


The Get Down

I remember the first Baz Luhrmann production I saw. I was in my freshman year of college and I still had time and the inclination to go out and be sociable with people outside of my major. The local student center had a print of Moulin Rouge and a couple of us walked over to go see it. I liked the movie that night but on subsequent viewings, I have liked the movie less. It feels like it is all flash and very little substance and its central message is kind of trite and obvious. So when I saw The Get Down advertised on Netflix I thought it would be like Glee mixed with Moulin Rouge but with Disco and Hip Hop. It is not that. The miniseries is very musical but it is not that often that the main characters are doing the singing. Their world is one where they are surrounded by music as there is some song playing about ninety percent of the time. Still, the emotion feels way more real in this one than in Moulin Rouge as everybody comes off as more human and people I would want to hang out with. In fact, after watching two parts, I feel like I have hung out with them. I do not usually think of subtle when it comes to Luhrmann but this was definitely much more subtle. The young actors who star in this are all so good as well. I am excited to see more and I definitely recommend it.


CBGB

I never got to go to CBGB but I am sure I would not have enjoyed it as I do not really enjoy bars too much. Also, there was a dog that was allowed to crap on the floor there. What I definitely would have enjoyed was the music that was played inside the club. It was a pretty rough joint if legends and this movie are to be believed. Hilly Krystal (no relation to Billy Crystal) was a man who just wanted to start a Country Bluegrass and Blues bar but that never quite worked out for him. Instead, he ended up creating a club that helped birth the punk genre and furthered a lot of musician’s careers. The movie mostly centers on the creation of the club, the early days of The Ramones and Krystal’s managing of the Dead Boys. Alan Rickman plays Hilly and is great as the kind of curmudgeonly positive man who runs this club by hook or by crook. There are great performances by Rupert Grint, Stana Katic, Ashley Greene, Freddy Rodriguez and Donal Logue. The movie is just kind of a ride through a history. There is a central message that says if you help people, you create something beautiful and they just might be there when you need help. I definitely recommend it because it pays homage to a great genre of music.

Music of the Week:
Devil Doll – Why

Dead Boys – Sonic Reducer

Kompressor feat. MC Frontalot – Rappers We Crush

D Boi Da Dome – Black and Orange (Orioles Anthem)

Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five – The Message

 

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s theme is “The Power of Music”
– I am almost done with Person of Interest Season 4
– I am halfway through Once Upon a Time Season 5
– I started watching Charmed again
– I watched a little more Narcos and it’s still good
– The TV Crimes podcast is genius
– Started listening to Harmontown again
– The soundtracks on all of these are excellent


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