Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The first rule of Zombieland: Cardio

I must first off state that alas, we will not be talking about zombies today. Maybe one day, as let's face it, the theoretical Zombie Apocalypse is a very serious issue and our responses to such event should be discussed. And thanks to so many directors, we have a lot of source material, rules and general guidelines to follow. As demonstrated in Zombieland, where I get the above quotation (obviously). But it's the reference to cardio in general that is the reason for this quotation being used as the title. For this entry is very, very tenuously touching on a form of exercise. Ish. I think.

Today, we're talking about freerunning. And why?

Felicia Day.

The geeky lady of supreme awesome, of Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and The Guild fame, tried her hand at freerunning in her video blog, The Flog. Initial verdict - Felicia Day attempting parkour is very gigglesome and cute, freerunning looks awesome, can I take it home with me? And why isn't there a place like the Tempest Freerunning Academy (where Felicia Day attempted parkour) in the UK.

Disclaimer Note: At the time of writing, I have not sufficiently trawled Google to find out if there is a similar freerunning institution in the UK. That comes later...

Anyway, back to...something of a point.

Usually I talk about some kind of historical precedent for freerunning in my life. There isn't one really. I have three major sources for it, that's about it. 1) An episode of CSI:NY involving freerunners. 2) The video game Mirror's Edge, that I watched people playing but never played myself. 3) The Bond movie Casino Royale, which featured noted freerunner and founder of parkour, S├ębastien Foucan. In my lifetime though, many people have told me that I would very enjoy freerunning. And watching Felicia Day attempting it (one particularly amusing part beginning at 1:55 in the video in particular), I thought "I can do that".

And it is very, very tempting to give it a go.

Now at first I thought "You know, this could be good. Freerunning/Parkour (whichever you want to call it, I like interchangability though) is free. Free exercise. This is good." Then I thought, "Wait a sec, my Converse probably aren't the best footwear for freerunning. I might need to invest in some new trainers or something." But regardless of these tangential thoughts apparently appearing for the sake of padding this out, I'm giving freerunning some serious thought. I mean, I discovered that a friend of mine, one of the fabled Writerverse, found a roller derby league nearby. Even if there aren't freerunning groups in the area...well, screw it. Don't need a group to run and jump around the worlds. And it might make my morning walks to work a lot more interesting. Might even shave some precious minutes or seconds off the journey time. Who knows, eh?

In the spirit of random babbling and giving readers sufficient material to read for the investment of their time, I'm going to talk about a couple of tangential things - American Warships, a movie I caught the end of today and Jericho, a short-lived TV series that I have on DVD and am slowly working my way through.

American Warships. Direct-to-DVD movie, released in 2012, starring Mario Van Peebles and Carl Weathers, released by a film studio called The Asylum. I discovered that The Asylum make "mockbusters" in tandem with the release of summer blockbusters and American Warships is their response to Battleship.

Let's set the scene. Battleship stars Liam Neeson. Budget: US$209 million. American Warships had a budget of US$1 million. To say that American Warships is hilariously bad is putting it mildly. It's gods awful. The special effects are emphasis on "special". The dialogue is laughable, the acting...well, give them credit, they're doing their best with the material at hand. And let's face it. They're being awful very, very deliberately. Which makes this movie...hilariously bad but brilliant in its gods awfulness. I've not seen Battleship, but I just get the feeling I'll prefer American Warships. Just a hunch. But just to emphasise in case you do watch American Warships...IT'S FRAKKING TERRIBLE. We're clear on that? Good. On to Jericho.

I was bequeathed Jericho, the "Decisive Boxset" that has both seasons. It lasted one full, twenty-two first season, then a fan-campaign earned it a seven episode second season to resolve the cliffhanger ending and lingering storylines. So far, I've watched the first season and three episodes of season two. And I must say, I rather enjoy it. I question how much longevity it may have had, but regardless I think it's rather good. Some of the storylines/character relationships are painfully obvious, but they're executed well. And the character of Johnston Green (played by Gerald McRaney) is one hell of a badass.

I should probably mention what's about...

Jericho centres around the eponymous town in the quaint state of Kansas. The prism through which we come to know this town is Jake Green (Skeet Ulrich), the wayward son of Jericho Mayor Johnston Green (the aforementioned Gerald McRaney). Jake returns to Jericho just in time for...well, the end of America. Twenty-something nuclear devices, detonated in twenty-odd major US cities, crippling the United States overnight. The series focuses on the day-to-day struggles of the people of Jericho, while delving into the mysterious conspiracy surrounding the "September Attacks", which are shown through the very shady new guy in Jericho, Robert Hawkins (played by British actor Lennie James). It's an ensemble(ish) cast, but it's the Green family - Jake, Johnston, Johnston's wife Gail Green (Pamela Reed) and his son Eric (Kenneth Mitchell). There's a lot of internal and external intrigue, confounded by the aftermath of a nuclear strike. It's an intriguing mixture and like I say, I'm rather fond of it. So I highly recommend watching it. Also, in series two, Esai Morales (who I know mostly as Joseph Adama in Caprica) is pretty damn awesome.

And on a final note, a Song of the Mind entry. It's something very new to me. This evening new, in fact. I was listening to a song by The Pretty Reckless and encountered these guys in suggested videos. The video involves a lots of fire. I fear there's a tiny bit of Targaryen mixed in with my Stark blood...

(Song of the Mind: Fire with Fire - The Letter Black)

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