Posts tagged Star Wars
Sorry I haven’t been writing much lately (outside of book reviews and photos every Friday.) I’ve been hammering out a ton of content for the new Wasabi Anime website, so my spare time for penning silly stuff on the Internet geared toward personal glorification has been somewhat limited.
Let’s change that.
Let’s talk about Tron… on Ice!
Last weekend Shannon and I went to lunch at Jojo’s Raw Bar & Grill in Fort Pierce, Florida (READ: Best. Drunken. Clams. EVER.) If you’re in the Treasure Coast area and looking for great seafood in a casual atmosphere – this is the place to go. (I hear there’s one in Wellington, Florida too.) </end shameless plug>
Back to the story of eighties science fiction goodness, we spent the afternoon driving up U.S. 1 and hitting some of the antique shops along the way. Shannon had always talked about “antiquing,” but I had never really done it. To me, most antique shops come off as somewhat glorified (and overpriced) flea markets. We scored, though, by finding a place called Hidden Treasures of the Treasure Coast. The somewhat redundant name aside, the place was really cool! Two stories – old furniture – classic electronics – and old magazines.
I wound up buying a 1978 issue of Mad Magazine featuring Star Wars.
Shannon wound up finding (but not buying) a program book from Disney on Ice from 1983. In it, we found this photo:
I could type a dozen or so things about the eighties, spandex, and other related nuggets of nostalgia… but I think the photo kind of speaks for itself. Enjoy.
In 1978, the 50th Academy Awards presentation took place in Hollywood. I didn’t watch them (I was less than ten years old) but I still have resentment for that year… a resentment that has been renewed thanks to watching the Oscars last night.
You see, the clever Woody Allen comedy Annie Hall took home the Oscar for Best Picture of 1977. A number of people who read this blog were born in the eighties and nineties, so there’s a good bet that many of them have never heard of that film. I guarantee they have heard of one of the movies that Annie Hall beat that year, though.
Star Wars CHANGED the motion picture industry. It showed that a meaningful story, good characters and amazing visuals can make of an impactful motion picture experience. The fine folks of the Academy, though, just couldn’t see it. Above and beyond being an great motion picture, Star Wars was also something else - innovative.
Innovation in film is what nurtures creativity. Hollywood has grown so lacking in it, though, that we are now going into a summer with the most sequels in history. There are a dozen or more reasons behind this, but lack of acknowledgement for true innovation by a filmmaker’s peers must play into it.
Last year Avatar lost out to The Hurt Locker. This annoyed me as a pretentious move on in order to try to break up the “boy’s club” for the Best Picture Oscar. Politics decided that winner; not innovation.
James Cameron’s work on Avatar changed the film making (and viewing) experience again. While (like George Lucas) Cameron enjoys the endless monetary profits of his venture, the Academy’s failure to acknowledge how much of an impact that movie had on the film industry and the art of film making by giving it Best Picture shows that they fail to see the importance of innovation. Why push the envelope if your peers won’t pay attention?
Thus, we get another Final Destination movie.
This year, The Social Network was up for best picture. While different than my previous two examples of Oscar follies, it is still VERY innovative. You see, the film didn’t “dumb down” aspects of a technical story for the sake of the audience. Computer movies have a way of making the tech jargon simplified (Wargames) or bordering on fantasy (Hackers) because, let’s face it, when those films came out people wouldn’t understand it otherwise. The Social Network was innovative by holding up a mirror to our society and SHOWING our own innovations in life. It took that first step into accepting how much we have all changed through our own technology which, if you think about it, is a very bold move.
Like it or not, you’re reading a blog and there’s a chance that you found this link via Twitter or Facebook. A decade ago, the only people doing this sort of stuff were nerds who understood those newfangled computer thingies.
Today, though, Uncle Jeb is connected to the internet probably looking up porn on his laptop in his trailer park.
Thus, a movie based on a play took home the trophy instead. I’m sure the King’s Speech is a great flick and I’ll buy it in April and watch it, but it just shows that the Academy is completely out of touch with it’s own creative works within it’s industry.
A BONUS FAILURE this year comes from their forgetting to acknowledge the motion picture contributions of Corey Haim, Peter Graves and Betty Garrett in the “In Memoriam Montage”.
In closing, it’s stuff like this that makes me wish that the YouTube generation would hurry up and change the movie industry the way digital audio change the music industry so the Hollywood can take a kick in the financial ass and acknowledge creativity and (gasp!) innovation again.
Tom Croom’s Doctor Who Adventures Thus Far:
- Planet of the Spiders (3rd Doctor)
- The Time Warrior (3rd Doctor)
- The Green Death (3rd Doctor)
- Carnival of Monsters (3rd Doctor)
- The Three Doctors (3rd Doctor)
- The Mutants (3rd Doctor)
- The Claws of Axos (3rd Doctor)
- Terror of the Autons (3rd Doctor)
- Spearhead from Space (3rd Doctor)
- The Krotons (2nd Doctor)
- The Aztecs (1st Doctor)
Which brings me to my final iTunes viewing of the Third Doctor: The Time Monster.
England, the near future. Professor Thascales’ TOMTIT project is nearing completion… but why is a simple matter transmitter causing disruption to the flow of time? And what exactly is Kronos, the time monster itself?
Yes, the twelve year old me giggled every time someone mentioned the TOMTIT project. Actually, I chuckled a bit right now when I typed it, too. Tom. Tit. [chuckle.]
THE GOOD: Duh… The Master! I can’t get enough of Roger Delgado’s version of the ultimate baddie in the Doctor Who universe. The man oozed evil with personality. My man Mr. Master pretends to be a professor, travels in time to Atlantis, and (AND!) convinces that hot queen to help him out. HELLO BOOBS
Is she, too, a part of the TOMTIT project? [more chuckling.]
The Master = pure awesome.
THE BAD: The name “TOMTIT”. [snort. giggle.]
THE CHEESE: Kronos, The allegedly epically powerful super bird like being that is (obviously) a man in white costume flapping his wings in a very silly fashion. Check it out:
It should also be pointed out that this episode, like The Time Warrior, features some Star Wars co-mingling goodness: David Prowse aka “Darth Vader” is the Minotaur in Atlantis in this series. The Force, though, was not strong with him since he gets killed in the maze.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book fed my inner fanboy in a number of different ways.
FIRST: I love classic Hollywood. Carrie Fisher’s tales of growing up in Tinseltown with her mother and her later exploits in the business make for engaging reading. It’s a great reminder of something the silver screen makes us forget so often: these “legends” of film are no less human than you or I.
SECOND: I love Star Wars. Duh. “Princess Leia” telling us behind the scenes stories of the movies that shaped my generation made this memoir worth its weight in gold pressed latinum. (Yes, I know that’s a Trek reference and not a Wars reference; live with it.)
LASTLY: I love life. Sometimes, though, life (REAL life) isn’t all about Jedi Knights and working on acting jobs. Carrie’s candid writings about her personal experiences with topics like substance abuse and untimely death (waking up in bed next to a dead friend!) are deep and, at the same time, darkly entertaining.
The book is one part stand up comedy, one part pulp culture history, and one part personal insight into a talented mind. It all adds up to an interesting cocktail.
FUN FACT: The book is almost more fun on audio book since the author herself reads it herself.
I am in Colorado for the next couple of days for business. Each year I come out here and fall in love with the breathtaking view and take some time for white water rafting. (The pic in this post is taken from the view from my hotel room.) Don’t get me wrong, I’ll keep the beach over the mountains any day… but it sure is nice to visit.
In other news, it seems the frenzy of brainwashed BotCon fans has finally ebbed. It was like talking to those sad Star Wars fans who honestly think the prequel trilogy was a good thing.
Will I ever go to BotCon again? Who knows. If I do, though, I am going to have t-shirts made for Joey Snackpants and I that say “Ask Me Why Beast Wars Sucks.”
Watch for crazy Colorado goodness soon.
THEY NEVER BOUGHT ME THIS!!!
Yes – that is an AT-ST backyard gym set… and it is awesome. (Click the picture for a larger version). I never remember even seeing one of these as a kid, but somewhere there are some people who grew up with the most epic backyard toy ever. Here’s the original post from BoingBoing.
I’m still alive – and I’ve actually been pretty active on the Internet. I’ve just been so bogged down with other websites and proposals and projects and blah and blah and more blah and… well, you get the picture.
The good news is that as of right now (at 2:08 AM in the morning) I have my inbox down to 7 emails that need to address. I haven’t been below 100 in well over a month. Odds of an honest to God blog post are going up. Joey Snackpants on the other hand is rumored to be scribbling notes on napkins, but no blog updates.
For now, though, I leave you with this picture of an AT-AT made of bacon. Good night.