Archive for January, 2013

Saving Star Wars

JJ Abrams is not my first choice to direct the new Star Wars movies, but there are a few things he can do to disabuse me of that notion. Here are my ideas.

No Green Screen tell the story with matte paintings and desolate landscapes and dressed up elephants. We may not have known it, but a large part of the magic of the first trilogy was that we were made to believe they were really in the DeathStar.

Use the Original Voices If you can magically make the original cast look young through cgi, I’ll allow it. The movie should start off with their gravitas as they try to recreate the bureaucracy of the Republic, which should be the backdrop to the new story

The New Story should not be a rehash of episode I, which was a rehash of Episode IV. Think back to Imperial Japan during WWII, or debaathification following the Iraq war. I’m thinking a not particularly trustworthy cadet alerts the republic to an existential threat and then surmounts the skepticism of the Republic to create a posse against the Moffs who are planning a coup. Include some turncoat Moffs who are of dubious loyalty.

Have a Big Ending. Not like Episode I

Episode VIII should be the first to move beyond the Empire.

No Sam Jacksons or Liam Neesons and no Ian McKellen. No actors already known for other sci go movies, unless they’ve been entirely forgotten. No Sigourney Weaver. All the actors unknown or has beeens. I could maybe give Rutgers Hauer a role or Robert Sheehan, but no one any bigger than that. If there’s another Peter Cushing, can we have him, please,

The new Deltron

I don’t really care for the song, but I wish more hip hop was like this. They could even have an exchange program with nerdcore.

Hopefully, this will follow Hansel and Gretel

As a great fantasy comedy.

Hansel and Gretel

I was saved by io9 again on Hansel and Gretel Season of the Witch Hunters, or whatever. I was all prepped to see it on opening night, then I read a review which said it was supposed to be a spoof but it failed and wasn’t funny and yadda, yadda, yadda. I got a bit spooked. Then I read the io9 review which really conveyed how fun this movie is and I got my nerve back (not sure about Stella’s or the Emperor’s new groove) and attended the 11am show which just happened to be in 3d and CC, which I’m pretty sure stands for creative commons, and video cameras are welcome.

Anyhoo, I watched the eff out of this movie. It was like a SNL’s Stefon’s version of a movie loosely based on a fairy tale. This em-effer had everything: Peter Stomare, that chick from X-men, Jim Henson style trolls, 16thm century newspaper headlines, an obsessive fan, ignored macguffins, crazy witch fights, even a bit of titty. Seriously, the media is why more movies like this don’t get made. It’s sitting at like a 13% fresh rating on rottentomatoes. That tells me there are mucho critics out there who just don’t get it. I hesitate to use the “so-bad-it’s-good” sobriquet, because I legitimately enjoyed this movie.

First off, it’s not a send up, though it made me think of lots of other movies, including Brothers Grimm, which, though I love you Terry Gilliam, this movie is better than. BG was so wrapped around the Macguffin that the kidnapped children represented the storybook heroines and something had to be done by midnight, and the this and the that, it felt like a chore. A boring, tedious chore. H&G, on the other hand, gives only the most perfunctory attempt at a workable MacGuffin (how many ways can I spread around the capitalization?). There’s something about a red moon that happens once in a generation and a White Witch’s heart to create a spell that makes the witches invulnerable to fire, and (SPOILER) somehow Gretel is a white witch (I know, right?). It’s all pretty random and no one pays much attention to it, which is refreshing. It’s basically just about killing the witches, and cleaning people off as they wake up from being knocked out, which I’ll get to in a bit.

The bathing/titty scene reminded me a bit of Your Highness, which is another movie which gets so hung up on the MacGuffin that it forgets to have fun.

I thought about Red Riding Hood, which everybody hated, but I loved, and this was sort of like that, but funnier. It was also funnier than Season of the Witch, though similar to that movie, as well. I also loved that movie. H&G took the trope that no one attempted any kind of accent and ran with it.

I haven’t really given a plot, other than this is about killing witches and, apparently, being cleaned off by someone as you awake from having been knocked cold, which, seriously, happens at least 4 times. It’s insanity. But there’s really not much more to tell. Oh yeah, Hansel has diabetes and has to take insulin shots. And there’s a hand-cranked, steampunk taser. Did I just blow your mind? The CG and green screen is not horrible and the 3d was tolerable. See it!

There were a few things I would have changed, though. I would have spent a lot more time and resources on the candy house. That could have been a magical moment like from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the old one, not the soulless Tim Burton remake. I just imagined an honest to goodness shiny vinyl house of every color that looks like peppermints and Turkish delight and hard candies. Would have been awesome. There could have been some jokes about incest. I wasn’t pulling for Hansel and Gretel to hookup, mind you, but there should have been more than just implied tension. Maybe some jealousy when Hansel hooks up with a chick.

Fantasy comedy is one of the most difficult genres to do well. Hansel and Gretel is a worthy addition to the maybe 3 or 4 movies on my list.

NPR gets real

Npr’s Q, hosted not by MI5’s Q, but by the obviously fake named/scrabble hand Jian Ghomeshi, is asking the important questions. Namely, is MILF a term-milf-a-compliment-or-an-insult/”>compliment. Wow. Listen here.


The Brass Teapot explains why Jesus rides a talking donkey.

Movie about cloning Jesus

With DNA taken from Monica Lewinsky’s dress. What’s that? From the Shroud of Turin? I guess that would make more sense. Here it is:

Flash Gordon supplants Cabin Boy

As my favorite movie, for the time being, at least. Here are some reasons why:
faithfulness to the source material I’ve done quite a bit of research, even starting the second volume of the collected Sunday strips, as volume is out of print and goes for like $225 used, and have been floored by how faithful Lorenzo Semple was to the source material. He left same few things out, but the heart of the story remains. There are no additional characters (ie poochie) designed to update the story for modern audiences. Aura is a minx who uses her sexuality to get her way in the comics, just like the movie, only, in the comics, she does it more so, if that’s even possible. The campy set design is pretty faithful, too. The strip benefitted from bold, fanciful design and would have suffered had it been given the spare realism of Star Wars, which is essentially a Western.

Nazis are everywhere

Nazis are the cheapest go to villain to make something cool and scary. It should be a major cliche, but those guys keep coming back and providing perfect villains. Dead Snow is one of my favorite movies. Ditto X-Men First Class, the Rocketeer, and even Flash Gordon. Nazis in all of them. In the comics, Preacher has Nazis, so does Hellboy. Now a new comic is being released about Nazis releasing Nazi superheroes to try and win WWII. Shouldn’t work, but I can’t wait.


Nativity 2

I have no idea if this is any good, but it has David Tenant init. (See what I did there?). No word on talking manger animals.