Archive for October, 2009


movie review: paranormal activity (no spoilers)


I went to see this a few days ago because there’s a lot of people out there calling it one the scariest movies ever made.  At least one reviewer said it was the scariest film they’ve ever seen.  That’s a lot of hype to live up to.  Based on what I saw, I think it’s fair to meet them all halfway and proclaim that Paranormal Activity is “the scariest movie released this month.”  Give me a frakking break, guys – this is not the scariest movie ever, although it is perhaps the most repetitive movie of all time.

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you know you’re a nerd when…


… you stare at a urinal puck and you see the primary hull of the USS Enterprise.



secret easter egg hiding in “the plan”


Today is the big day, ladies and gentlemen!  Battlestar Galactica: The Plan  hits the shelves on DVD and Blu-ray, and with it so ends the final chapter of the new BSG.  I’m just as sad to see the show come to and end as the rest of you, but don’t get too misty-eyed on me, your old uncle Mojo has a little ‘going away’ present in store!  Of course, each and every one of you should pick up “The Plan” simply because it’s an intriguing film and features a juicy performance by the best bad guy in years, Dean “Cavil” Stockwell – but just in case you were looking for further motivation to add this DVD to your collection, it’s also hiding a very special easter egg…

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phillips, mccreary wow crowd, eat cake


Saturday night in San Pedro, California was heaven on Earth for the nearly one thousand nerds who packed the historic Warner Grand theater to listen to an evening of music from Battlestar Galactica and other sci-fi favorites as part of a big ol’ birthday bash for legendary composer Stu Phillips.  Special guest Bear McCreary (seen above sharing a hug with Mr. Phillips after the final encore) also took the stage and shook the theater to its very foundation with his new BSG composition, proving once and for all that both versions of the series can not only peacefully coexist, but can actually rock the house together! 

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report from concert rehearsal – holy frak!


Tuesday night was the rehearsal for this Saturday’s upcoming sci-fi music concert paying special tribute to composer Stu Phillips.  All I can say is wow.  Hearing a live orchestra belt out those first few notes of “Exploration” from the Battlestar Galactica soundtrack sent a shockwave through me!  I’ve listened to that music gods know how many times but last night it really pounded through my soul – in a good way.  It was also a treat to watch Stu conduct and give direction to the musicians – he may have written this music three decades ago but the passion, energy and dedication on display last night were that of a proud father making sure his newborn child is in good hands.  The guy may be 80 but he demonstrated more gusto that anyone in the house!  In addition to getting a preview of Stu’s set, we heard the suite from Star Trek: First Contact and a piece from composer John Ottmans’s upcoming Astro Boy, but it was Bear McCreary who provided total shock and awe with his newest composition…

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sci-ficandy: over organia


Way back in 2001, Pocket Books commissioned me to author a Star Trek coffee table book of cool starship imagery (I bet you didn’t know that the Ships of the Line calendar series was created as a testbed for the book).  My concept was to feature moments from the history of Star Trek that clearly happened but for whatever reason were never actually seen (mostly due to budget constraints of the various series).  One of these moments was from “Errand of Mercy,” in which Kirk and Spock “negotiate” with the Klingons on the surface of a peaceful world while both Federation and Klingon starships amass in orbit, ready for battle… Continue reading ‘sci-ficandy: over organia’


you know you’re a nerd when…


… you’re shopping at Macy’s and out of the corner of your eye you see a sign that you swear says “sith.”  [have you got a You Know You’re A Nerd moment you’d like to share?  Send it in to DarthMojo4U at aol and we’ll publish our faves]


omg! stu phillips plays the galactica theme just for us! (with video)


I recently had the privilege of visiting Mr. Stu Phillips at his home in Studio City where we went over last-minute particulars for his upcoming concert (i’m helping out with a few behind the scenes details).  Regular readers of this blog – and any fan worth his salt – should recall that Phillips is the maestro behind the music from the original Battlestar Galactica, as well as Buck Rogers, Knight Rider and countless other hours of entertainment that has undoubtedly made the world a better place.  As we wrapped things up, I headed for the door and walked past a piano… the very piano that was used to compose the theme music that defined my childhood; the theme that I’ve probably listened to more than any other piece of music in my life (yes, even the theme from Star Wars).  I couldn’t help myself.  “Stu,” I nervously asked.  “Would you be willing to give a fan the ultimate thrill and personally play the theme to Galactica on this piano?”  With his trademark humility and humor, he suggested that I should have higher standards for thrills – but he kindly obliged – and let me make a video of the impromptu performance to share with all of you…

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coolest CGI shot of all time (with video)


A few months back we showed you how we created a brand-new CGI Viper from the original 1979 Battlestar Galactica.  Using a model built by the talented Derek Smith, I painstakingly recreated the lighting and studio look of the TV classic just to see how close a match we could get to the original.  But what about the Galactica herself?  Not too long ago, FX veteran Lee Stringer enlisted a few cohorts and spent quite a bit of personal time building an exact replica of the original filming miniature (as seen above – yes, he did this on his own time) so I thought I’d take a crack at creating a brand new shot of the girl and see how close I could get it to looking like a scene from the original series…

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NSFW: video wallpaper #1 – Crabtasm

 I was in a Koreatown supermarket recently and saw this little drama unfolding.  I thought if I kept the edges of the tank just outside of frame, the viewer might not immediately know what they were looking at (at the end of the video I pull out and reveal all).  In any case, watching these crabs parade around was mesmerizing and terrifying all at the same time.  Are they just looking for space?  Do they think if they keep piling up on each other they’ll create a crab Tower-Of-Babel and escape?  All I know is you probably shouldn’t let your kids watch this right before bed [NOTE: Click the gadget in the bottom right corner of video for full screen and maximum effect].  The only thing I can’t shake is the feeling that this video could use a better soundtrack – perhaps some music?  Wait a sec, I know exactly what this video needs…

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more lightsaber madness (plus photo contest)!


How do visual effects artists spend their New Year’s Eve?  Lightsaber dueling, of course!  After the international success of yesterday’s lightsaber post, I spent a little time digging through the Mojoplex archives and unearthed these gems from a 2006 New Year’s Eve party – where we offer proof that you’re never too old to not grow up (on the other hand, if you’re easily embarassed, the alternate lesson learned here is that booze and lightsabers don’t mix if you’ve got a digital camera laying around and a friend with a blog). Click through for more pics and the identities of the revelers!

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i broke my lightsaber (with video)


It was bound to happen eventually.  Like any self-respecting Star Wars fan, I have one of the greatest toys every made – the Master Replicas Lightsaber.  As anyone who has played with one will tell you, the first time you get ahold of one of these and activate it you get a rush that is possibly the greatest toy experience of your life.   What we wouldn’t have given as kids to have one of those!   Ok, it may have taken 30 years but hey, at least we have ’em now.  And I don’t care how old you are, swinging one of those things around puts such a grin on your face it’s easily the second best form of stress relief in the known universe.  That is, it’s all fun & games until what happened last night happens to you… 

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October 2009