Archive for July, 2011

Trawling Nickelodeon shows for ideas

This io9 piece documents a throwaway line in Clarissa Explains it All (of which I’m a long time fan) where her younger brother Ferguson mentions Cowboys and Aliens.

They further mention that Hollywood execs now troll old Nick sicoms for ideas as their own throw away. They do not mention or link (though the comments may. Lazy) that other movies have seemed similar to ideas on at least one other show.

I had never seen Planet of the Apes

Until this morning.  I wish I had seen it earlier.  However, if I stop being pleasantly surprised, there’s really no reason to keep searching, I suppose.  Inasmuch as a late 60s scifi picture about the Earth (mild spoiler, though how anyone watched the whole movie under the impression that it wasn’t earth really doesn’t compute) being taken over by apes who evolved from man can be a scathing indictment of the ideology of young earthers, this movie is that.  The apes believe that they were created a millenium or so before the movie takes place, and their dismissal of science and logic and their fealty to dogma is eerily reminiscent of the “debate” the know nothing creationists have been so adept at manufacturing.

When I saw that Rod Serling was a co writer, I got an idea that it would be intellectually provocative, but I worried that he was added for cachet, like Tom Stoppard was added to the pretty much finished product of Shakespeare in Love.  But no, the movie is rightfully a classic.  I will now proceed to plow through the sequels.  I’m anxious to do so, as the movie reminded me quite a bit of Lost (I think Lost especially lifted the cages from PotA, as the picture shows.), and I want to see the mythology fleshed out a bit.

Alas, none of the trippy ape village still exists or, technically ever existed, as it was on the Fox backlot, according to Wikipedia. Also, reading the plot summaries of the following movies, I realized the story arc of the movies is very similar to Terminator, as other people have also noticed.

Phony Beatlemania

NPR had a pretty good story about London’s efforts to use The Clash’s “London Calling” as the theme song for the 2012 Olympics.  I don’t pretend to speak either for Jesus-God nor Joe Strummer, but I reckon if he were alive he would either think it was funny, or he would throw an absolute shit fit.  (he was something of an Angry Elf) If they tried to use Anarchy in the UK, well, Johnny Lydon (nee Rotten) would be all over that, I think.  He’s all about selling out, even though he’s not your stepping stone.

Anyway, the controversy surrounding the song concerns not Joe Strummer’s legacy, but the fact that the song is about a nuclear apocalypse that floods the Thames (I really need you to pronounce the ‘th’ like in ‘that.’  Try it, it’s fun.) and results in an ice age with zombies.  The title is from the BBC.  It’s kind of like a kinder “God save the Queen.”  (she ain’t no human being)

On a side note, JT and I watched Get Him to the Greek last night, which featured both “London Calling” and “Anarchy in the UK.”  Longtime friend of Biblecomix Dan Bern co-wrote two songs for the movie.

Lyrics:

London calling to the faraway towns
Now that war is declared-and battle come down
London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard, all you boys and girls
London calling, now don’t look at us
All that phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling, see we ain’t got no swing
‘Cept for the ring of that truncheon thing

CHORUS
The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in
Engines stop running and the wheat is growing thin
A nuclear error, but I have no fear
London is drowning-and I live by the river

London calling to the imitation zone
Forget it, brother, an’ go it alone
London calling upon the zombies of death
Quit holding out-and draw another breath
London calling-and I don’t wanna shout
But when we were talking-I saw you nodding out
London calling, see we ain’t got no highs
Except for that one with the yellowy eyes

CHORUS
Now get this London calling, yeah, I was there, too
An’ you know what they said?
Well, some of it was true!
London calling at the top of the dial
After all this, won’t you give me a smile?
I never felt so much a’ like

Original:

My parents are going to see Elvis Costello tonight at the Newport folk festival, so here he is singing it:

Bangers and Mash from GHttG, which I think is like a double entendre:

Dr Who on Futurama

The 7th Doctor, methinks?

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Encino Man

I had never seen Encino Man before this evening and I had always thought it was a clever idea about how shallow high school kids are that they would raise an unfrozen caveman teenager to the height of coolness because he was built like Adonis and despite the fact he didn’t talk.  In reality, the movie is a kind of high school Being There.  The main difference here is that Chance the gardener (Chauncey Gardener) was labeled profound because of his stoicism and the rarity of his speech, while here, Brandon Fraser’s Link is liked because he’s so damned affable.  The movie actual reflects better on teenagers than BT does on adults.

I would love to see this film remade by Judd Apatow and not just because Sean Astin reminds me a bit of Michael Cera and Pauly Shore reminded me of Seth Rogen.  Apatow has not really dabbled in science fiction (not counting the babymaking hook up in Knocked Up) and this would be an awesome concept to adapt.  Encino Man is an almost unbelievably gentle comedy built around a bunch of montage sequences. Add a few eff bombs,some gross out humor, a stuttering mid twenties Michael Cera and some unknown as the cave man, and you’ve got a hit.

Licking Riverside

I went to my neighborhood association meeting this evening.  It’s the Licking Riverside Civic Association and it was pretty sweet, though there is something of a story to tell.  I google mapped the place where it would be and it appeared to be about a block and a half away.  As I walked out of the compound with the group that invited me, one of them said, “It’s about five blocks, is that cool?”  I said sure, and it was fine, but, by the time we got there, I was so thoroughly sweaty, my maroon polo shirt, under which I wore an undershirt, was dark red all over from my sweat.  I would have been embarrassed, but I kind of embraced my outsider status and just wandered around aimlessly, emulating Peter Sellers in The Party.  I exaggerate.  I was perfectly charming, if drenched, and I caught a ride home with a couple who drove.

Here’s the band from the New Mickey Mouse Club called the party. I think that’s Sisqo of Thong Song fame:

Here’s a clip from The Party:

Orgy of Sci-fi fantasy unrelated to Comic Con

JT and I are indulging a veritable orgy of scifi and fantasy that is more a convergence of time than anything to do with comic-con.

Tonight, we watched Falling Skies (like, even though the Sanctuary storyline was largely derivative.  Happily, I put Lost Horizon back to the top of my Netflix queue.), Futurama (last week’s episode was one of the funniest so far), Alphas (do not want. Very derivative, reminiscent of that show with Parker Stevenson, Probe, I think or the Bloodhound Gang. Some good performances, but pheremones? Really?)

JT is finishing Ender’s Shadow, I’m halfway through Runaways, and we picked upfrom the library Gunslinger (Stephen King, not Roger Corman), Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser (inspired by this on io9)and The Case of Madeleine Smith, from Rick Geary’s Treasury of Victorian Murder series.

Reviews to follow, but I’m all set for a little while.

Madhouse

I watched half of Madhouse this morning before work.  I lucked into it on Netflix, discovering what I think is the only movie starring Peter Cushing and Vincent Price.  It’s suitably vague, but atmospheric.  When Price’s golddigging former porn star girlfriend’s severed head falls off, though, that shite was real.  I read some spoilers on IMDB and know that the Cush does not come out on top, but that’s ok. I’ll have more to say upon finishing it.

It’s a horror version of The Player, more or less.

Finally started True Blood

I finished watching the first Blu Ray of the first season of True Blood.  Some thoughts:

I was impressed to see Kentucky author (from Morehead, actually, close to where I grew up.  Not Blue Licks close, but not Louisville far, either.  He’s a pretty righteous dude whom I’ve met a couple times, so that’s kind of cool.

I was a bit perplexed at the beginning of the first episode when the tough guy wanna be fraternity hipster with the popped collar goes into the convenience store to ask for the titular drink and expresses disbelief that there are vampires in Louisiana.  Isn’t Louisiana to vampires like Hyannisport is to Kennedys?  I mean, all of Anne Rice’s vampire novels start out in New Orleans.  The vampire in Preacher lived in New Orleans.  I’m sure there are others.

In fact, the thing I like least about the first two episodes of TB, other than the snail’s pace of the incredibly boring second episode, was the derivative quality of the Louisiana setting.  Granted, it’s probably like that in the books on which it’s based, but there are other places it could work.

Speaking of other places where vampires could work, I watched a History Channel documentary about how Hitler came to power and was thoroughly intrigued by the picture of the Weimar republic I had never seen before.  Apparently, there was a real sense of apocalypse in Germany at that time.  There were dozens of “saviors” running around trying to save people.  It was from this culture that Hitler arose.  I think having a vampire come out of that society would be pretty cool and more original than a vampire who bears a concentration camp tattoo, though I think that would be pretty interesting.  The idea of a gypsy vampire who is an immigrant from Romania is pretty cool to me.

I’m going to continue watching.  I liked the boobies.

Minecraft addiction

Jt has commandeered the laptop, as I finally caved and bought him minecraft this afternoon. Hence, I’m blogging from my phone.

I’m working on some ideas about a few things. This poem pertains:

“I had a dream which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguished, and the stars
Did wander in eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air.”
Darkness, Lord Byron

Read the whole thing. It’s really good. I havent seen it in any apocalyptic literature or movies, but maybe Noah Wyle will throw it out there on Falling Skies.

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