Why it is so difficult to have a Utopia.

If you’ve watched basically any movie or played any game in the last four decades you’ve likely noticed a theme. The general commentary that the natural trend of humanity is towards violence and destruction. With the rise of technology and our unprecedented connectedness it is probably pretty easy to just accept this as truth.

But have you ever wondered why? I don’t think the answer is all that complicated. The nuance of the answer, surely, but the basic issue? As with so many things this is a numbers game. This is an issue of entropy, or less obscure, a house of cards.

There are very few ways that everything can be happy and lovely. But there are nearly infinitely many ways that everything can be awful. Likewise there is a very precise order needed to keep a house of cards standing. Remove even a single card and the entire thing collapses.

Humanity works similarly. This makes sense because we are trapped in the same universe and must follow the same laws. And ultimately I think this is the crux of the problem.

If you want to have world peace you have to convince everyone that it is in their best interest. You have to convince everyone that they shouldn’t want for everything. Because it only takes a small handful of greedy people to set the wheels in motion to move towards dystopia.

This is why you can ask just about anyone what they want in life and you’ll find a reasonable and rational response. It is why if you follow the actions of just about anyone you won’t really be mortified by who they are. But the small group of people who would give you nightmares are enough to cause a breeze. And all it takes is a single exhale to shake the cards.

A small group of investors can ruin the lives of hundreds, thousands, or even millions of lives. A couple hundred people can lead to the deaths of millions in the blink of an eye. A couple dozen people can keep an entire country crippled and starving.

It’s something I’ll want to touch on in a future post. When people ask “What is wrong with wanting to make more money?” I think they are underestimating the very problem that cripples humanity. There is a point where extra wealth will have no appreciable difference in your personal life but it will have a negative impact, sometimes vastly, on the lives around you. And I think that is the problem with wanting for everything.

Another thing I’ll want to write about is how you (for lack of a better term) brute force this problem. I don’t think the answer is violence or simply imprisoning the problem humans. I think the solution is to prevent them from being able to ruin others in the first place. You must create a world where people can satisfy their greed in a nearly isolated state. Technology ultimately is the TL;DR of that future post.

I don’t think it is futile though. I just think it isn’t easy. Short of gluing the cards in place you have to actively make sure the environment is supportive of a house of cards.

By | 2018-01-01T18:15:10+00:00 January 1st, 2018|Opinion|Comments Off on Why it is so difficult to have a Utopia.

Rico Reviews – The Last Jedi

It isn’t often that I write anymore. Not a big deal, I’m going to start working on it again and see if I can get to something close to functional. This might all seem like a strange way to open with a review and you aren’t wrong. Basically some social media sites ignore what I set as the excerpt and just show the first few sentences. So basically I’m delaying things to help make the splash of text you see elsewhere just be a bunch of nonsense.

Ok, is Twitter gone? Am I good to go? Cool. Let’s get down to brass tacks, and keep in mind for these first few paragraphs I’m going to be spoiler free.

I enjoyed The Last Jedi. I think it’s important for you to know that immediately. No dancing around it. Likewise, I didn’t really care for The Force Awakens. I’m going to go into a few details about TFA to give you some more context into why I liked TLJ. And yes, I’ll likely write their names like that because it’s too wordy otherwise. Star Wars needs names like Avatar or Terminator, nice single words that I can pump out. But I digress.

TFA felt like a universal studios ride. Constantly they’d point excitedly at someone or something and go “Remember this! The Millennium Falcon! OMG! You remember Han Solo right?! LOOK LOOK! R2-D2!” There would be moments where the cast member damn near stops the scene just to make sure the audience knows they aren’t making another movie about hating sand.

I get it. Lucas took all the good faith he had from the original trilogy and ground it into dust. Much like Vader killed all the children in the third prequel, Lucas snuffed out the love of many people who loved the original trilogy. I wasn’t what I’d call a die hard fan but I really enjoyed the original trilogy. They captured so many things that I appreciate in cinema and combined it together to create an enthralling experience that is effortless to watch. The prequels were, in my opinion (as with the rest of this review) a laughable mess that felt like a worse film than I’d make. And trust me, I’d make an awful film. Not Prometheus awful, but you get me.

TFA was the apology of Disney. No longer would you have bad acting and terrible writing. They wanted us to know this. They wanted us to know that they know what we like. I’d argue they took that way, way, too far. I left TFA thinking “Ok I saw that.” I never had desire to see it again and apparently I forgot what happened in it!

The title scroll of TLJ had me rolling. My brain was grasping at straws trying to remember what happened in TFA. “Wait, what are they talking about?” I thought to myself. “That didn’t happen in the last film?” But apparently what they claim did! Episode 7 was so incredibly forgettable for me that I had indeed forgotten! That’s insane! I could tell you nearly every single thing that happens in Episodes 4-6. Sure, nerdier people could get WAY more precise than me, but I can at least knock it out beat for beat.

This though, this was terrifying. I felt old, had my brain suffered that greatly at 30 something? But no, I think not. Because after finishing The Last Jedi, I can safely say there are parts of this that will stay with me for a very long time. The cinematography was off the chains. The colors used in most of the scenes fit the atmosphere to near perfection. The use of sound, lighting, and timing all made for an incredible mix of intense serious moments and absolutely hilarious funny moments.

This was the Thor: Ragnarok of Star Wars films. It was a perfect hybrid of comedy and drama to help keep me invested and ultimately exhausted by the end. The film never really held your hand, for 99% of it the film let you do the thinking. It provided a scene, an event, and it moved onto the next. There were few awkward pauses, it never felt like a universal ride.

The Last Jedi felt like a movie. That’s all I wanted. I just wanted Disney to make Star Wars movies. I didn’t want another theme park ride where they make slurping sounds around my lap. I wanted them to show me they had confidence in their world and in their characters. I think they pulled it off.

I liked basically every character. I say basically but I can’t actually think of anyone I didn’t like after finishing the film. And with that I’m going to move onto spoilers. Here I go. I’m giving you a moment, are you still here? Run, run for your life, these aren’t really big spoilers but I’m warning you.

If you had to ask me I’d say that every moment in the movie that could “surprise” you is more a negative than a positive. But I don’t know for sure! So run! Run for your life!

Ok, are they gone? Look around. Do you see them? What about that little guy over there. Is he cool knowing? You what? You read the synopsis online? Jesus, I’m not even a super fan and I couldn’t do that. Ah well, more power to you.

Alright. We’ll start from the front and work back through a few spoilery things that I felt about the movie. The first is that I loved every single scene with the porgs. You probably guessed that. The scene with them and Chewbacca nearly had me in tears. That was some of the best use of silence and camera work to get a laugh out of me in a long time.

The next is that Rei had excellent bow form (forgive me if I spell any of these names wrong, I’m not THAT big of a fan)! I was really stoked to see that either she already knew or someone trained her in proper bow staff form. That was neat! A small touch but I liked it!

She also wasn’t god tier ridiculous in this. I told myself if she got cut a single time that would be enough for me to put her up there with Luke and the rest of the cast. They did it, kudos to them. You got my vote.

Next is Adam Driver, er…uh…Kylo. Yeah right, anyways. I really liked him this time around too! That dude was working the screen! I liked his fights, his talking, and the removal of the helmet. I think he’s actually kinda more menacing with it off. Adam is a good actor in my opinion and wasting his talents behind a mask is kinda lame to me. They can bring a mask back but I want him pulling that thing off like he’s Stallone in a Judge Dredd film.

I can’t believe you killed him. I’m not saying who, but you’ll know when it happens. That weird CGI Wicked Witch from the West thing that followed him dying was surreal for me. The only bad CGI in the whole movie in my opinion. But it can be forgiven. A lot of this movie is basically art direction porn. They did a fantastic job.

That light speed moment? Holy shit. I’m just. Everyone that has seen it. You know what I mean right? That was just the coolest shit. That one moment made the whole movie worth it for me. That was a visual spectacle and an idea that was performed cooler than I could have ever imagined.

Poe is a sexy hunk of adorable. I like him and I don’t mind him getting lots of screen time. I kept praying they’d bring back the joke of “You know what my plan is.” When the latter half of the film happened. Someone would respond “Blow stuff up?” and he’d just smile and point at them. I wanted that Disney, you hurt me for not doing it.

Mark Hamill is himself. To say he’s anything less than a cool ass dude would be doing him a disservice. Every scene with him I loved. And I’d argue that his scenes with Rei were pretty well done. They both held their own and never once did I feel like either of them was coasting on the other. It was all great.

Yoda was mostly practical effects it looked like! I loved it. That was a delight for me. I love practical effects. Computers are amazing and fun to use but I will never stop loving puppets being used creatively to instill emotions in people.

The books surviving the lightning was stupid. I didn’t catch it and thought the film was better for it. Once a coworker told me they were on the Falcon I groaned. That said, Yoda has a line about it that nearly saves it. You’ll get what I mean if you didn’t already notice.

The new ships in this were actually pretty damn cool. I thought I wouldn’t care about them but I was wrong.

I still don’t know what the point of having Snoke was at all. I thought the use of Darth Maul in Episode 1 would be the worst offense to an intriguing character that Star Wars would ever botch.

Good lord, was I wrong.

Ok, shit. I don’t want to end this on a down note. I really enjoyed my time watching this movie.

The salt flats battle near the end was balls on amazing. The use of red and white was a sight to behold. And finally, Benicio del Toro you sexy dude. Jesus, could you tone it back the tiniest bit? I’m married.

He was great, fantastic even. I’m hoping we’ll see more of him in Episode 9 and shit, even if he showed up in later films from time to time I’d be fine with it.

So yeah, in closing. This was a good film. If I had to rank them I’d say, as of today, 4, 5, 8, 6 (I didn’t like ewoks), and then 7 by virtue of the prequels destroying some of my optimism as a kid. I’ve never seen Rogue One but by many accounts it has a pretty rad ending sequence.

Thanks for reading and have a nice day.

By | 2017-12-15T20:26:09+00:00 December 15th, 2017|Great Things, Reviews|Comments Off on Rico Reviews – The Last Jedi