Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mickey Mousea, Meesa Am Your Papa!

Holy F------ S---!

The Force was certainly strong for the Walt Disney Company as they just bought Lucasfilm Ltd from George Lucas for $4.05 Billion (from The Hollywood Reporter.com).  The Mouse House now owns not only Star Wars but Indiana Jones as well.

This news is shocking.  Just shocking.  I don't know how to feel about it.  What do we have to look forward to, new shorts with Mickey Mouse AND Jar Jar Binks?

Star Wars is a huge part of my scifi DNA.  Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back are PERFECT movies.  You can have your Ewoks and your Jar Jar and your Prequels.

Disney says to expect a NEW Star Wars movie in three years. One suggestion: get Steven Spielberg to direct it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Noah Puts His Flood Pants On

Seriously, were pants even invented in the time of Noah (of the Ark fame).  The pic is from Collider.com.

Is this Darren Aronofsky film, "Noah," a futuristic "biblepunk" version of the Flood myth?


Monday, October 15, 2012

"The Most Interesting Man In The World" Was In Star Trek

One of my favorite commercials of the last several years has been Dos Equis' "Most Interesting Man In The World" series.

The commercials feature a distinguished looking man in his 70s, always smartly dressed, and always surrounded by beautiful young women and excited people.  The narrator lists his many accomplishments, feats and achievements, such as "he is the only man to ace a Rorschach test," "his legend precedes him the way lightning precedes thunder," "if he were to mail a letter without postage, it would still get there," and "he once punched a magician...that's right, you heard me."

The man is actually actor Jonathan Goldsmith, and blog io9.com points out that Goldsmith appeared in Star Trek: The Original Series, in the episode"The Corbomite Maneuver."

Knowing the Most Interesting Man In The World appeared on the Most Interesting SciFi Show In The World, we humbly offer the following:

His beard can make the Vulcan hand salute.

His personal magnetism is often mistaken for a tractor beam.

Capt. Kirk got to be the ladies man he is by reading merely the index of his little black book.

He can speak Klingon in Romulan.

His phaser is set to "stunning."

His beard always transports ahead of him, just in case there's trouble.

His wink has been known to stun a charging Gorn.

He can recharge dilithium crystals with just his smile.

The galactic library Memory Alpha calls him for fact-checking.

His beard is worshipped by Tribbles.

His hailing frequencies are always open...for adventure!

He is...The Most Interesting Man In The Star Trek World.  

"Stay Trekkie, my friends."

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Bill and Ted's Not-At-All-Excellent Cyber Adventure

Johnny Mnemonic (1995)

This was an incredibly dull movie. And a stoopid one, at that; Johnny Moronic some have called it.

Keanu Reeves plays our hero, data courier Johnny who smuggles information in his noggin in the world of 2021.  He dumped a chunk of memory (e.g. his childhood) to enable the illegal extra data storage capacity in his melon.  Reeves has to get the info downloaded before his head explodes or the audience loses its patience with the movie.

Reeves is in full Bill and Ted mode in this flick; his expressions have that blank deer-in-headlights feel.  All that was missing was Alex Winter as his traveling buddy and Reeve's trademark phrase, "Whoa!"

Reeves has to get the data from exotic Beijing (Panda Express looks more exotic than the film's production design of China) to Newark, New Jersey.  When did Newark become an important destination in cyberspace or real life for that matter?

This is a Bad Movie, through and through. The casting across the board was goofy: Ice T in a fright wig as a resistance fighter, weird Udo Kier as another weird Udo Kier character, Dolph Lundgren - seemingly on some bad mescaline - as a strung out street preacher/assassin?  To top it all, the actor playing the chief Yakuza assassin had eyebrows that were at least one inch thick!  It was so distracting, like watching an Asian Groucho Marx.

The resistance fighters, or Lo-Teks (get it, "low tech?") are HQ'd underneath an old bridge.  I didn't say below an old bridge, which would make sense if you want to keep out of sight of the cops and the corporations out to press delete on your ass.  No, this dumb movie puts the Lo-Tek's hideout UNDERNEATH a bridge: they networked together old containers and other scraps of metal and junk, and viola, it's the Hilton 2021.  Except you'd have to use cranes to get that shit up underneath the bridge and weld it all together.  How the hell did they hide all that from prying eyes?

Of course the Lo-Teks like to drop flaming cars (hey, "car bombs," everyone!) from the bridge onto trespassers below.  This once again raises the question of how you get old cars UNDERNEATH a bridge to be able to bomb unsuspecting snoops.  I imagine this image was the thing that led them to create the Lo-Tek's silly headquarters in the first place.

This movie looks and plays like an extremely cheap knockoff of the Max Headroom TV show, but instead of that show's inventiveness, creativity and smart satire, we got a B-movie plot, embarrassing cyber-tech double talk, cliched scifi punk fashions, a generic soundtrack, dull fight scenes, and a finale in one of Roger Ebert's trademarked "Steam and Flame Factory" settings.

And the scenes "in" cyberspace itself (one where Reeves is gloved up and helmeted to do, what, make a couple phone calls?) simply looked like someone's CGI effects reel after watching Tron.

Read an old issue of Omni magazine for a better, more exciting, and stimulating use of an hour and a half.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Comic Book Movie Casting, Meteors and More

WhatCulture.com has a new piece up about unusual, or oddball, casting choices for comic book movies. Michael Keaton's casting as Batman was likely the first oddball casting for a comic book movie that really worked; the most recent may be Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man.  Let's keep that up, Hollywood.  We need more of that kind of "out of the box" (though that's such an overused phrase) stuff and less of the Nick Cage as Ghost Rider or Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern business.

In sadder news, noted director of photography Harris Savides passed away recently.  Mr. Savides worked with directors as varied as Sofia Coppola, Ridley Scott and David Fincher; his work on the period thriller "Zodiac" for Fincher was especially notable.  Indiewire.com's The Playlist takes a look at his amazing work.

To end the week on a high note, Space: 1970 has a post up with the press kit photos from the scifi disaster pic "Meteor," starring none other than James Bond himself, Sean Connery, the late Natalie Wood and some really bad special effects (the space platform with the missiles looks about two feet long and made from cheap plastic - which it probably was!).

I watched the first 15 minutes of "Meteor" not too long ago, and all I remember was that Connery wore an overcoat that was this thick, massive, leather number that looked to have been made from an entire cow (see the first pic in that post).  That and he brought the thing with him into every scene he was in.  (Connery was a millionaire by the time this movie was made, so maybe he told the producers, "I don't need any money, but I would like a really nice warm coat for those Scottish nights I could keep afterward.").  To stop the meteor they should have just thrown Connery's coat over it.