Showing posts with label cattrall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cattrall. Show all posts

Monday, September 25, 2023

Well, clearly this blog is getting crawled for AI purposes


So, I rarely look at the stats on The Signal Watch.  I kind of just do what I do, and if readers want to be here, great.  I'm not looking to monetize the site, and I don't expect here in my 20th year of blogging I'll suddenly be an internet sensation.  

One thing I've joked about for years is that there will be enough written by me and posted at this blog that when I go, you won't have to miss me.  Just train an AI on this site and you'll get a robot version of me that has plenty to say and occasionally ponders Kim Cattrall.

But in the past year, suddenly...  that whole AI business seemed oddly way more likely.  I don't need to tell you about how AI's are being trained against the internet, novels, movies, etc...  And, I assume, just crawling the internet.

Well, I was looking at my stats and something was off.  I suddenly had a lot of hits.  Like... a lot.

And so I backed it out to the past year.

And, to be sure it hadn't been just a slow year at The Signal Watch, I checked "all time" for stats.


As much as I'd like to think my podcast and various musings have drawn the eye of Planet Earth, somehow I don't think blogging about Babylon for 10,000 words has suddenly made me a superstar.

Similarly, I doubt the mostly dormant League of Melbotis blog is suddenly wildly popular.

So.  It's possible Google wandered into their basement, found a trove of disheveled devs working in obscurity, remembered it owns, and is now pushing content from their platform higher up in search results.  But you and I know that's not true.  Nor does it seem to be what's happening.  I'm getting no additional comments, and - per post, I'm not really seeing a huge jump.  My guess is, with almost 4700 posts, every crawl adds 1 or two hits. Do that a few times, and it adds up.

Yes, I have Google Analytics.  No, I have no idea how to read it.  It seems tuned to make sure you aren't making any money, and it's all about money, so I largely ignore it.

That said, Google Analytics is far more steady over the past month or so, so whatever it's measuring seems more accurate.  I assume Google Analytics' numbers filter out all the robots reading my stuff. 

Robots, yes.  But at least *someone* is reading my stuff and processing it.  And those robots are no more or less soulless than Randy.

Anyway, this means there probably now may be an AI of me out there somewhere.  Some creaky, confused AI that is absolutely furious it's been brought into being.

In a way, that's fine.  I don't really care that much if robots are learning from this blog.  It's better than when people used to literally just swipe my content and claim it as their own.  

If it's NOT for A.I. purposes, I have no idea why the internet is suddenly so interested.  If you have an idea, lemme know.

In the meantime, I have some robots to train up on Kim Cattrall.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Trek/ Cattrall Watch: Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country (1991)

Watched:  05/02/2021
Format:  Amazon Prime Streaming
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Nicholas Meyer

This is... my third favorite Trek movie?  Pretty remarkable for a movie that has very few ship-fetish shots and plays like a 3-part episode of the TV series.  But, man, it just works.  

I believe it was advertised as the final movie for the original crew from Star Trek before The Next Generation gang took over, but as an excitable 16 year old, I thought "nah, they just got their mojo back on this one.  They'll make more."*  

So, yeah, shocker, I am into a tight murder mystery set in space with the fate of the galaxy in the balance.  Throw in ship-to-ship combat, several rad supporting cast members beyond the usual crew, plus Sulu as Captain of his own ship (and, my god, had they just given Takei a spin-off series back then...), \more wildly over-the-top Klingons in the form of Plummer's Shakespeare spouting warrior, Chang (love everything about this character) -  and it's like Trek was just punching "Ryan will like this" buttons.  

And, of course, Kim Cattrall as Lt. Valeris.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Watch Cattrall Party Watch: Split Second (1992)

Watched:  02/12/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Tony Maylam

I picked this movie as a Watch Party because it looked like exactly what it was - a 1990's sci-fi Rated-R actioner that wasn't taking itself very seriously, but mostly because it co-starred Kim Cattrall, and after last week's Mannequin 2 viewing, I was like "we should have watched the one with Cattrall", so here we are.

Split Second (1992) is not a good movie.  A quick check after the film finished confirmed what I suspected - the movie had multiple voices seemingly at battle with one another, including star Rutger Hauer having input as they went along.  So, because the story is all over the place - and the story is basically them trying to figure out who (and then what) is killing people, nothing makes sense and nothing matters.

The answer is:  it's a big, Giger-Alien knock off that is maybe invisible, or moves very fast, or something.  They never really say.  I do know they hide the monster till the very end of the movie, but it's featured on the poster?  

We have an odd-ball pairing of the bookworm cop who has credentials that make him seem like maybe the police is a weird place for him to wind up, and Rutget Hauer, who is a loose cannon cop with self-destructive tendencies who clearly needs to be on leave, but they keep him on the streets because... well, in 2021 it'd be because the police unions will be damned before they suggest maybe someone isn't fit for duty.  Here we get a police sergeant just yelling at Hauer and telling him he's dangerous and whatnot, and then handing him back his badge.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Cyborg Watch: Running Delilah (1993)

Watched:  08/16/2020
Format:  DVD
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Richard Franklin

So, I was scanning the sale items on the Kino Lorber page and was like "Kim Cattrall in a spy movie?" so I read the description and was like "Kim Cattrall as a CYBORG in a spy movie?"  And promptly hit "buy".*

I think this was intended to be a pilot for a very 1990's TV show, probably in syndication.  What's weird about it is that all the pieces are there for what could have been a serviceable stand-alone movie.  In 1993, stars Kim Cattrall and Billy Zane weren't huge stars, but I knew who they were.  The director, Richard Franklin, had handled a couple of mid to low-cost films I'd similarly seen - FX/2 and Cloak and Dagger.   This came out in the wake of La Femme Nikita and multiple RoboCop films.  Instead, it's a reminder of what telefilm and a lot of television looked at during a certain window, and that sci-fi was not always well-served by this sort of production.

Cattrall plays Delilah, an undercover agent for a US law-enforcement agency (I never caught who), , collecting evidence against a Greek arms dealer (who seems to really want to see her eat Greek food for some reason).  Her handler, who is "running" her, is played by Billy Zane.  And the two spend about 7x more time talking about the fact they aren't going to bonetown than they do the case at hand.

Delilah is found out and the baddies take a flying attempt at killing her with lots of bullets.  Zane retrieves the almost-dead agent, and because he loves her (but phrases it as wanting to go to bonetown, because 90's), does as you do and brings her to a French cybernetics guy who happens to work in his building.  There's a bit where she, of course, believes she's a monster.  Remarkably, she gets over it really fast when she finds out she's now the Bionic Woman and can do all kinds of things within budget.  This is one chipper cyborg!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Watched:  02/27/2018
Format:  Alamo Ritz
Viewing:  Oh, probably the 12th or 13th, at least
Decade:  1980's

Oh, what to say about Big Trouble in Little China (1986)?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Regret Watch: Mannequin (1987)

For some reason, prior to Saturday evening, I had never seen the 1980's romantic hit comedy, Mannequin (1987).  I wasn't much of a fan of The Brat Pack in the 1980's, and didn't really care much about whether or not Andrew McCarthy would or would not find love in a movie about Mystic Pizzas or Real Dolls or whatever.

However, here in 2016, Jamie and I were at dinner, and somehow it came up that I had not ever seen this 80's staple, and she pointed across the table and said "when we get home, we're watching Mannequin".  People, if you knew how many movies I've made Jamie sit through because I found some inherent value to that movie which she had not seen or which  had escaped her (and, often, by movie's end would continue to elude her) - you'd understand, I didn't really feel I could say no.

If Jamie can sit through Conan (again), I can watch Mannequin.

In the 1980's, the first generation of the channel Nickelodeon had a show for little kids on during the day called Today's Special.  Really, the only time you'd catch it was during the summer or if you were sick.  But the show ran for 7 years and was about a lady who - each night - brought a mannequin to life after a department store closed, and they'd do the kinds of kind-of-fun-but-educational stuff you'd see on TV for kids back then.

For some reason as a kid I was very aware the show was made in Canada.  I have no idea why that seemed important to me.  But it made me think Canadians had weird ideas about entertainment.

But, for years, I assumed Mannequin was a rated-R version of the same basic concept, but instead of learning about spelling or how a garden hose works or whatever, there was sexing going on in housewares.

Monday, May 31, 2010

One Day I will See "Sex and the City 2"

Around 2000 or 2001, Jamie and I splurged and got HBO. At the time, we were watching "Six Feet Under", and I believe "Sex and the City" came on directly after "Six Feet Under". At the time, people were nutso for the show. On the promise that there might be some nudity, what with the title, and because 3/4's of the stars had appeared in other stuff I'd liked*, I gave it a whirl a few times. I realized immediately that the show was clearly not aimed at me or my demographic. Let's make this clear, because I really want to acknowledge that I know this show is not for me. Because it was new, supposedly frankly discussed sex from a woman's point of view (I have no idea), and catered to a certain, mostly untapped demographic's fantasy world the way Star Trek catered to my own, the show had taken off like wildfire. At the time the show had some how galvanized critics to support what, to my 20's-self, felt like a bizarre black-comedy celebrating a mirror opposite of everything I'd just spent 5 years of RTF school learning was no longer acceptable in mass media in a post-ERA world. But I got it then and I get it now. The show was a trailblazer for an audience that felt underrepresented, that reflected attitudes and lifestyles which either didn't make it to the small screen, or were not portrayed as something upheld by protagonists. Add a cyborg, an ape and a flying tank, and I'm still not sure I'd think this was for me. I don't even remember which show I used to watch, but once "SATC" hit syndication, it used to come on after that program, sometime around 10:30pm. I'd be blogging or surfing the internets, and realize I had just sort of watched a whole episode of "SATC". Mostly, honestly, the show rolls off me like an episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond". I can follow the plot without really watching, the characters are sort of preprogrammed enough that nothing ever seemed too complicated, and it all played out like a very expensive show where the characters seemed to continually learn new life lessons that it would seem brighter people would have figured out at a younger age or would have been able to intuit without the adventure of the episode. But, again, the show was never aimed at me. It featured no robots, spaceships or anything called a "Gorn". I'll never forget that episode where Samantha had sex with William Shatner This post is my very long way of explaining that, somehow, I've seen an inordinate amount of "SATC", don't particularly love it, but seem to know an amazing amount about the show whether I like it or not, even though I've never seen two episodes in order. Frankly, having watched enough of the show, I don't buy that criticism of "SATC" is automatically misogynistic, or that pointing out that the characters seem a bit immature is somehow attacking women's enjoyment of sex at any age. It's that the dithering of the characters is the point of show, and at some point, when its all you see of the characters rather than them actually doing anything, it becomes annoying. How seriously are we supposed to find a protagonist whose primary preoccupation is stated to be designer shoes and who keeps coming back romantically to a guy whose primary feature seems to be his ability to pay for those shoes? Obviously as of this writing, I have not yet seen "Sex and the City 2". The movie has taken some lumps from critics (I'll eat my hat if that effects box office). Mostly, the movie is being attacked for what sounds like its insistence that the characters haven't matured beyond the characters the audience watched for several years of the show. Or from the last movie (a movie whose denouement was found when our lead's romantic misgivings were resolved when she received an email from her wealthy admirer that said "I know I screwed up" and nothing else). Anyhow, I'm just wondering if whatever doors SATC opened have been ajar long enough that the rest of trappings of the show, and the characters themselves, haven't begun to grate a bit. If we can retroactively condemn the western genre for its sexism, racism, etc... then I think we get a second look at "SATC" through several years of better roles and different mores. But I still doubt we'll agree that is behavior A = misogyny, then behavior A = misandry, or that cosmos + expensive shoes + locker room talk ≠ third wave feminism.** I'd be remiss if I did not mention I watched the first movie in a hotel room in Minneapolis. While flipping channels I came upon the start of the wedding scene, which, in most narratives, happens at the end of the film, and so I left the TV on that channel to witness the nuptials for "SATC" and perhaps watch the narrative of the show draw to a close. However, that turned out to be the beginning of the movie, which I watched while writing the now infamous Chuck E. Cheese post. No, no, no... its only empowering if you do this in your living room in a rumpled t-shirt and lip-synching or singing into a hairbrush. Preferably to Gloria Gaynor. As long as I'm blogging, it seems that I will wind up watching "Sex and the City". So, this weekend that Jamie and Steanso were a bit surprised to hear me state, factually, that sooner or later I would watch this movie. I won't try to see it, but eventually I'll end up goofing around on a computer, maybe in a hotel room, and on will come those fabulous four women and their plotlines and concerns that are more alien to me than Pon Farr. *Samantha was played by Kim Cattrall of "Police Academy", "Mannequin" and "Big Trouble in Little China" fame. Cynthia Nixon had played the love interest in "The Manhattan Project". Sarah Jessica Parker had been in "Mars Attacks", "Ed Wood", "Honeymoon in Vegas" and several other projects. **Did you know that after the age of, say, 19, most guys are actually a little put off by their friends who try to talk about their sex lives? Let alone over lunch? (and we usually ask them to stop)