Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scott's Links October 2012

Scott roams the internet far and wide to ply his trade as a link dealer. Fortunately, Scott provides links free to us. Check these out. . . share your thoughts! And away we go. . .

The Force will be with us again!

I read the news during class and almost blurted out an expletive. Disney has purchased Lucasfilm for the (rather cheap) price of $4 billion. Not only that, we WILL be getting a new trilogy starting in 2015. This is Earth-shaking news and as of this writing (8:00 PM 10/30/12) there are literally a hundred questions out there with no answers. Will the original edits of the films be released? Who knows?

The revenge of the irony-free sitcom

I actually don't watch any of these shows - The Middle, Up All Night, etc. - and while there seems to be a thin line between sincerity and schmaltzy, the writers of these shows know where that line is. And as much as I try to spread the word about darker shows I enjoy like Louie, I admit it's heartening to know that the family sitcom still survives, and without any of the manipulative "Very Special Episode" cliches that we all remember and cringe at.

Film culture isn't really dead or democratized

It seems we have two scenarios: 1.) film culture is dead, or 2.) film culture is not dead but simply doesn't belong to the proper culture anymore. This article postulates a third scenario: everything is fine. "Film as an art form has gotten more popular over the past century, some individual movies have stood out to reach the larger masses, and filmmaking itself has changed in some profound ways. Some big conversation pieces have been pure spectacle, others thought-provoking. So it goes. The Internet may have democratized filmmaking, but the only thing it’s done for fans is to give us greater access, which is something to never stop celebrating."

Taken 2 and the spy movie problem

The idea that a spy agency could have both good and sinister intentions is an old one - some folks have a hard time believing that the organizations mandated to protect us are all on the level. On the other hand, with great ambiguity comes great drama: "Art and culture, including popular entertainment, is often where a society’s doubts about itself can be most freely expressed, and from its very beginnings the spy thriller has often presented espionage as, at best, a morally dubious affair."

Celebrating 50 years of The Jetsons

The Jetsons aired on Nickelodeon during my elementary school years so I'm quite familiar with it. What's interesting is that it only ran for one year, which means all those episodes we grew up watching... it was just a couple dozen that aired over and over again for decades! This article comes to use courtesy of Matt Novak who blogs about a subject I'm interested in: retro-futurism - the future as envisioned by people who lived in the past. Hopefully that sense of wonder and optimism will come back one day. But even more importantly, where is my flying car?!

A look back at Starlog and pre-Internet movie rumors

Ah, Starlog. I'm thankful I grew up at a time when these magazines were still around. And I know I've said it before but mine was the last generation to know life before the Internet which meant I had to get my news about the series finale of Star Trek: TNG from actual printed matter. In a store! As much as I love the instant gratification the Internet brings us, there was something to be said for the "quest" - the physical act of seeking out information and sharing it with people in the flesh. Or maybe I'm over-analyzing it. [smile]

Abraham Lincoln's Pop Culture Legacy

On the eve of Steven Spielberg's new film, this article takes a look at our 16th president's appearances in film and television, for better and worse. Not only was he a hero to Captain Kirk, he also gave some sound advice to the students of San Dimas High School: "Be excellent to each other. And party on, dudes!" (Whenever the subject of Lincoln comes up, the voice I hear in my head is the actor who played him in that film.) Hell, I might just write in his name when I go to vote next week!

10 archetypes TV needs to get over

"The rogue good guy" is always a dependable stand-by but I can't disagree with most of the others, especially "the Jersey girl." I'm somewhat sympathetic to "the man-child" but it depends on the execution: he could steal the show or make you want to destroy your TV. And I'm sure in another 10 or 15 years, we'll have a whole new set of archetypes to complain about.

Firefly and lessons in contract law

Andrew, this one's for you. And who says you can't learn anything from TV? Apparently, there is much to take away from Captain Mal's various business dealings and the shady characters he always managed to piss off. In fact, the purpose of this blog is to analyze sci-fi from a legal point of view. Interesting stuff and it's too bad we didn't think of it first!

Star Trek: The Next Generation turns 25

Yes, I know I linked to a similar story last month but this one is special on a personal level and is best summed up by the following: "When you're a skinny 13-year-old who's scared a third of the time and bored another third, the idea of roaming the constellations with Captain Picard, whom adventure follows like a shadow and who always knows what to do, will obviously have a certain appeal."

The craziest myths tackled by the Mythbusters

I should really start watching this show, and not just because I think Kari is hot. This article looks at some of the more insane myths these guys busted (or tried to bust), including but not limited to: escaping from a sinking car, impregnation via musket ball, and surfing with a rocket-powered surf board. You don't need eye or ear protection to read this article. (Yeah, that's as "cutesy" as I get!)

The ripoff factory known as The Asylum

Have you ever noticed that, whenever a big blockbuster is out in theaters, there's usually a similarly-titled imitation available the next week on Netflix and Amazon? Me too, and these films are the work of a production company called Asylum. They see themselves as simply part of the release of the other film and not a detractor and they don't consider what they do deceitful. On the other hand, I admit I feel bad for the person who purchased Transmorphers thinking it was Transformers. Or Battle of Los Angeles thinking it was Battle: Los Angeles.

Last night's listening:

Nothing. I have two albums on order, Film Score Monthly should be announcing their last title before the year is out, and La-La Land Records will be announcing their Black Friday releases in a few weeks. My wallet and I wait for the dawn.

46 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

sign of the times (and my age . . . . ) 1) The purchase of Lucasfilms by Disney had zero impact on me. 2) A big budget film about Lincoln with a great actor would not have me jumping up and down in anticipation. I don't want my Lincoln coming through Stephen Spielburg's prism. 3)STNG is 25. Hell, it's not even half my age l.o.l.

ScottDS said...

Jed -

I realize I'm only 29 but at the same time, I went to a Super Mario Brothers-themed Halloween party and taught an elementary school-aged kid how to play the original 8-bit game from 1988. He was asking me how to execute certain moves and I had to tell him they hadn't been invented yet.

So I sympathize when it comes to the passage of time. I suppose we all feel it at our own pace. (Even some of us late 20-somethings.) :-)

Re: TNG - I've been a Trek fan for 20 years - that's 2/3 of my life!

Re: Lucasfilm - we'll see what happens. It can't get much worse than the last couple of movies and I hope Disney picks the right filmmaker (Brad Bird has my vote).

Re: Lincoln - I just hope Spielberg turns off the autopilot. I haven't seen War Horse but Tintin was one of the most convoluted self-indulgent movies I've ever seen.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks for links Scott!

And not to steal Scott's thread, but feel free to share any thoughts you have about the Disney Lucas deal!

Jason said...

New Star Wars? Not surprised. The franchise is too lucrative to let sleep, though I figured they would be made entirely post-Lucas. The fact that he’s signing over his baby is a surprise given how hands-on he was with the franchise since Return of the Jedi. I never thought he’d let go of it to the extent he will.

This actually could be good news. When Lucas is willing to (or forced to) collaborate with others, with people that can refine his ideas, he can turn out good stuff. The original Star Wars was the product of a lot of his friends telling him what was good and what stunk in his scripts. The storytelling sophistication of the Empire Strikes Back was due to Irvin Kershner, Gary Kurtz, and Lawrence Kasdan. Of course the Indiana Jones movies were a collaboration of Lucas and Spielberg, with the latter contributing great ideas like having Indy’s father show up in Last Crusade when the Grail quest itself didn’t seem interesting enough to fill a movie.

Granted, it’s not fullproof. Willow isn’t considered a classic. Howard the Duck most certainly isn’t. And Kingdom of the Crystal Skull gave rise of the meme of “nuke the fridge.” But still, having the Star Wars franchise being looked at through eyes that aren’t Lucas’ may be a great thing.

Tennessee Jed said...

He has lost his mojo it seems, PLUS he seems to have become more outwardly political, at least away from the cameras, and I hate that with celebrities. It's basically exploiting the stage they are given to blabber their opinion on issues where they have no more expertise than their audience. I used to love the music of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, but don't want to pay to go hear their music and be forced to hear a sermon extolling Barrack Obama or demonizing Mitt Romney. To me, young Spielberg was a joy with films like Jaws, and E.T. that seemed devoid of agenda.

To be honest, I don't think I have seen any of his films until the one about the Israeli agents who tracked down the Black September assassins. In that regard, I suppose I have no room to criticize. Still, Lincoln is too much a hero to me to see him recast as a liberal.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

That's why I added the Star Wars link last night, ironically in place of another Star Wars-related link.

Re: the originals, this is from The Hollywood Reporter...

"Disney will own and release future films in the Star Wars series (as for potential Indiana Jones films, Paramount retains some distribution rights and future movies will only be made if both Paramount and Disney agree on terms). Lucas apparently has sketched out plans for three more Star Wars films -- he always envisioned making nine -- with Episode Seven set for release in 2015. But Fox owns distribution rights to the original Star Wars, No. 4 in the series, in perpetuity in all media worldwide. And as for the five subsequent movies, Fox has theatrical, nontheatrical and home video rights worldwide through May 2020.

While the rights on those five films eventually will revert to Disney, that "in perpetuity" pact for the first film appears to be an obstacle to Disney releasing a complete set -- unless a deal can be made."

ScottDS said...

Jason -

Hopefully Disney will bring in the right people. On all the geek websites, people are speculating as to who might get to direct one or more of the new films. My vote is for Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol). Others are suggesting Spielberg, del Toro, Whedon, Abrahms, etc.

Here's my take: the best of the originals was directed by Irvin Kershner who was NOT known for sci-fi/fantasy films. So who would be the equivalent today? My friend suggested Nicolas Winding Refn who directed Drive and I suggested Tom Hooper who directed The King's Speech and episodes of HBO's John Adams.

ScottDS said...

Jed -

I don't disagree but I've always said there are degrees when it comes to this stuff. Spielberg is certainly no Sean Penn and with the possible exception of Munich, he really hasn't turned his films into political sermons. What he does off-screen is his own business as a citizen. (Though I imagine he's probably on Obama's speed dial!) :-)

Yeah, he was rather fun and fancy-free back then. Andrew and I have talked about it ad infinitum: the guy grew up. He got married, had a ton of kids, and co-founded a movie studio. He didn't go all Lucas on us (becoming the very thing he despised) but he did go corporate and safe.

K said...

It's a small universe after all. Can't say I'm looking forward to the inevitable and uber cutsey Mickey Mouse as Darth Vader merchandize.

ScottDS said...

K -

It wouldn't surprise me if that happened already. I know I've seen illustrations of Mickey as Luke Skywalker.

The funniest tweet I read about this whole thing was, "Does this mean Mickey and Minny are actually brother and sister?" :-)

tryanmax said...

Your io9 link is broken.

tryanmax said...

"Does this mean Mickey and Minny are actually brother and sister?"

NICE!

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

io9 is having technical difficulties due to the hurricane. I'll replace it with something else. Try again in a few minutes. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

FYI, I put a flag counter at the bottom of the page about half an hour ago because we can an incredible number of visitors from all over the world. So check it out sometimes. It's already filling up.

AndrewPrice said...

What I'm hoping for will be that Disney will issue a cleaned up original version of Star Wars to DVD.... and think about rebooting the prequels.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

I don't think we'll see anything be "rebooted" - any new film that's released will take place after the original trilogy. Right now, the geek websites are wondering what the story might be, whether it's going to be original or based on an existing work, how it might affect the Expanded Universe, etc.

See my comment above about the originals. Disney and Fox will have to come to an agreement re: releasing the originals on DVD/Blu. While Lucas has been strict about not wanting the originals released, the question is, can Disney override him now?

There's a fan out there known as "adywan" who's been working on his own Special Editions, deleting some of Lucas' more annoying changes but fixing things that should be fixed. As much as I'd love to see the originals released, I'd love to see a "hybrid" version one day, with only changes that are necessary. (Cleaning up matte lines, erasing wires, etc.)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I'd like to see that too. But if history is any judge, they will swoop in and stop him cold, just as they did with "The Phantom Edit."

ScottDS said...

Here's what concerns me. How will Disney's ownership affect fan films? Lucasfilm has actually been pretty friendly when it comes to this stuff (assuming the fans didn't make a profit).

Right now there's a huge fan project underway called Star Wars Uncut. I mentioned it last year: the entire film cut up into 15-second segments, with fans filming their own segments which will later be cut together in a seamless presentation. They did the first film last year and Empire is currently in production.

I really hope Disney doesn't shut these people down.

I'm also wondering how this will affect book publishing. I just hope JW Rinzler gets to finish his making-of book on Return of the Jedi (he already did the first two in 2007 and 2010).

I imagine Disney will get the rights after Lucasfilm's deal with Del Rey expires. (Same with music rights which are with Sony.)

BIG MO said...

I've watched several of The Asylum's movies -- why I'm not sure -- and some are decent. But most are schlock.

Their War of the Worlds was actually good, especially a long segment when a priest questioned his faith because of the alien invasion, only to regain it with the help of hero C. Thomas Howell. The sequel to Asylum's WotW was a dreadful piece of "WTF were they thinking" -- even by their standards.

ScottDS said...

BIG MO -

I've never seen any of them. I imagine I'll see one of them one day, if only out of morbid curiosity.

I don't think Asylum produces them but I'd like to see one of those direct-to-DVD action flicks that seem to pop up all over the place. (And lately, they all seem to star Val Kilmer or Christian Slater.) Something like this.

AndrewPrice said...

Big Mo, I watch those all the time on the SciFi Channel. They seem to be the biggest distributor to SciFi.

ScottDS said...

Andrew, in addition to my comments above, I read another couple of interesting theories...

Re: the originals, Fox may feel compelled to exploit the hell out of them while they still own distribution rights.

Re: the new films, Lucas was limited when it came to whom he could work with since Jedi and the prequels were all produced outside of the unions and major WGA/DGA talent couldn't really participate. That will most likely change now.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, My understanding is that Disney bought the rights to the entire franchise. Are you sure Fox still owns them?

ScottDS said...

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox still retains distribution rights until 2020 (and in the case of the first film, perpetuity).

Read more here.

I'm off to school - be back later! :-)

Anthony said...

Given that people unanimously loath the last three Star Wars films and even Return of the Jedi was nothing to brag on (we all knew Storm Troopers couldn't hit the ground if they jumped off a cliff, but being whipped by teddy bears...) I'm surprised so many people still care about the series.

Its striking that people skipped watching the excellent Serenity (and this comes from a guy who has never seen the tv series its based on) to watch the laughably bad Revenge of the Sith despite the fact that they went into it knowing it would be horrible.

I'm not totally down on Star Wars (I enjoyed the original two movies, most of the Timothy Zahn novels and the original KOTOR) but I think it unlikely that another truly great Star Wars movie will be made.

T-Rav said...

So, you're saying Asylum is who I should send all my hate mail to? Because I can't stand all those crappy productions they put out.

Anthony, I'm borrowing your "Storm Troopers couldn't hit the ground if they jumped off a cliff" line for all future Star Wars discussions. Hope you don't mind.

T-Rav said...

Oh, right...the Disney buying Star Wars thing. Well, that should run the franchise into the ground once and for all. @#$% it.

tryanmax said...

Speaking of fan-made Star Wars stuff, check this out: LINK

Kit said...

"Can't say I'm looking forward to the inevitable and uber cutsey Mickey Mouse as Darth Vader merchandize."

Obviously you've never been to Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios. ;)


Seriously, there is a Star Wars ride there so this is not completely surprising.
A pretty fun ride and its called STAR TOURS. They recently Special Editioned it, though in this case it was actually improved upon.

ScottDS said...

Anthony -

Great cliff line! As I mentioned above, it all depends on who the studio hires to make the movie. I just read an article with a list of 10 filmmakers who could do it (namely the geek favorites like Whedon and Edgar Wright) and 5 filmmakers who shouldn't do it (Brett Ratner, Michael Bay).

I feel like I'm back in high school when the prequel buzz was starting. Actually, I feel like I'm back in middle school when the Special Edition buzz was starting.

This is going to be an interesting couple of years and I can't say I'm not a little excited. :-)

ScottDS said...

T-Rav -

Yes, that's what I'm saying. :-) I guess they're filling some kind of niche in the marketplace but all things being equal, I'd rather see them try something original instead of leeching off the big guys.

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

Good stuff! I see that link and give you this.

ScottDS said...

Kit -

I've never been on Star Tours but I've looked at some of the cool stuff they did for the revamp.

Some folks are speculating that this could lead to an entire Star Wars theme park, or at least a large section of a theme park, much like what Universal did with Harry Potter.

tryanmax said...

No worries, I've given the links my usual treatment to assure ScottDS of how appreciated they are.

A Force to be Reckoned With: So, Jar Jar meets The Mouse, eh? As to releases of the original versions of the films, I'll place my money on the Disney Vault over the Lucas Lab any day. LucasArts → Disney Interactive makes me queasy. Dark Horse → Marvel doesn't bother me a bit.

All in the Family: Let that reference be a reminder that the family sitcom can have just as much, if not more, bite as the workplace comedy. The last sitcom I truly enjoyed (for the first few seasons anyway) is a prime example: That 70's Show.

Culture Club: Huh?

Spy vs. Spy: The author could have shortened his article quite a bit if he had simply said, "I prefer spy movies where America is the bad guy over those where America is the good guy." As for me, I prefer Bond-esque spy films: cast aside the politics and give me some action.

Yesterday's Tomorrow: I'm surprised that he didn't happen upon what I think is the most obvious reason why The Jetsons still resonate with the ways we think about the future: it domesticated the future. I can't think of a single other sitcom that brings the living room to the future as it brings the future to the living room. The Jetson family, like no one else, showed us what living in the future will be like. We won't be scavaging some baren moon in a cumbersome suit, nor will we be cheesy manaquins dressing a speculative documentary. Certainly we won't all be on the crew of some deep space freighter. The Jetsons live like we do, in a house, in a suburb, with kids and a dog and a car. It's a normal life, only with more robots and buttons. Living the future will be very much like living in the present. To my recollection, this very basic premise wasn't revisited again until Futurama, and again, only in cartoon form.

A long time ago (before the Internet)... That last one, about Leia's father being a double agent, actually has some elements of the truth to it. Those are the best kind of rumor.

In for a penny: (how's that for an oblique Lincoln reference?) Not only did Lincoln miss out on the phonograph, he also never turned a doorknob (patented in the US in 1878 by Osbourn Dorsey).

How (arche)typical: I'm sure there are women's study programs galore that bemoan the archetypes which portray women as incapable of navigating multiple social spheres simultaniously. On the other hand, the guy who excels at work but is lousy at home isn't even regarded as a trope. It's just out there. The counterpoint is, of course, the man child, which makes the list. Of course, narratives are built around archetypes, so the whole article is a bit like grousing that archetects need to get over cinder blocks and concrete.

The dotted line: That was simply nerd-tastic. Not much else to say. Admittedly, I was a little distracted by the girl in the Kaylee T-shirt.

To mildly go where many have gone before: Holy crap! TNG is 25! That makes a body feel old.

Busted!: It's practically a trip down memory lane, though I haven't seen much of the more recent seasons seeing as I cut the cable a couple of years ago.

The last laugh: No kidding, this article has me revisiting those fantasies of becoming a movie star. I'd me more that willing to settle for direct-to-video star. A paycheck and a chance to do something you love, isn't that what everybody wants?


tryanmax said...

No music? Well, in that case, allow me to share my current listening. It's not from a film, but I break this videogame soundtrack out every Halloween: American McGee's Alice. The soundtrack was written and performed by Nine Inch Nails drummer Chris Vrenna with contributions by guitarist Mark Blasquez and singer Jessicka. It's an appropriately creepy accompanyment to the game's dark reimagining of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. (Far better than anything Tim Burton came up with.) The soundtrack makes heavy use of toy instruments and music boxes, as well as spooky choral sounds and musically incorporated sound effects like ticking clocks and creaking doors. These are layered into a dark and dense electronica soundscape. It may not be sit-down listening, but for Halloween it provides a far more atmospheric background than Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt Kickers. LOL!

Happy Halloween, all!

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

Your summaries, to put it mildly, mean the world to me and I'm eternally thankful.

Re: Force - yep, that's the news, and there will no doubt be volumes written about it between now and when the film is released, or for that matter, now and the time you read this! I'm not worried about the games but as far as the books go, I hope they continue to publish lavish making-of and art books. JW Rinzler is working on The Making of Return of the Jedi coffee table book as we speak and I hope there are no complications.

Re: Family - True. I think the last three-camera family sitcom I watched was Home Improvement but I cringe when I think of all that TGIF crap I considered appointment viewing as a kid. Urkel, anybody? :-)

Re: Culture - Allow me to clarify. This article was actually a response to a couple other articles (that I didn't link to) bemoaning the state of film culture. One critic complained that there is no film culture anymore - that it's no longer a cutting edge part of American intellectual life. Another critic responded to this critic by saying that the snobs are just upset that movies don't belong to them and that they only sought to make film criticism a snobby, exclusionary hobby.

The article I linked to said both are wrong and that film culture, such as it is, is fine. I hope that cleared things up a little bit!

Re: Spy - Yeah, and I have to be careful about what publications I link to. Obviously, this is just one person's opinion but many critics seem to think it's impossible to make a spy movie without exploring the moral gray areas. Or you could simply try to make a fun, entertaining spy movie where the heroes win. (Like Brad Bird did with the last M:I movie.)

Re: Tomorrow - I agree… and I never really thought of it like that before. Speaking of buttons… if I recall, George Jetson's job seemed to consist of pushing one button, till Mr. Spacely would yell for him. :-)

Re: Pre-Internet - It's funny to look back on this stuff now, isn't it?

Re: Lincoln - Great quote!

Re: Archetypes - Yeah… archetypes make for convenient short-hand and there are ways to tweak them here and there. Andy on Parks and Recreation isn't annoying because he doesn't wallow in his idiocy - he might be a fool but he's upwardly mobile and aspires to be something better.

Re: Contact law - Yeah, I loved Kaylee, too. Hopefully Jewel Staite is just one role away from becoming a breakout star.

Re: Turning 25 - Yep! The show celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. And DS9 turns 20 next year!

Re: Busted! - I have friends who watch the show and when you navigate the geek websites like I do, these guys inevitably show up.

Re: Last laugh - It certainly is. I guess being a direct-to-video star is better than being an A-list star forced to do direct-to-video.

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

Re: music - Sounds interesting! I've heard of the game but never heard the music. I guess I've been listening to a couple things lately. I tracked down Wendy Carlos' complete score to A Clockwork Orange featuring her synth music as she originally performed it (before it was cut and changed here and there for the film).

I also tracked down two other Carlos albums which feature odds and ends, including all the music she wrote and performed for The Shining. Only two cues made it into the film; the rest was mostly replaced by the classical pieces.

tryanmax said...

Scott, thanks for clearing up the film culture thing. I just had no ground from which to understand it. It's pretty funny now that I know what's going on.

On the Spy article, no issue with linking to it. I just was bemused at how verbose the author was in stating something so simple--because he knew he couldn't outright say it. But in the end, I stick with my original conclusion: make it fun, make it fast, make it sexy, and blow some $#!+ up!

You are correct about George Jetson's job. And upon further review, it occurs to me that "push button finger" is an uncanny prediction of the growing prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Hmm, I should like to hear the Clockwork Orange music, then. I always considered it unremarkable, but then, I was unaware that it was a mangled work.

A couple more thoughts on the Alice soundtrack. 1) The only issue I have with it is the interjection of game dialogue at the beginning of some tracks, even if they do provide some better understanding of the piece to follow. 2) I originally obtained the soundtrack in a somewhat "illicit" fashion. But I liked it so much, I acquired a legitimate copy. Let that be a lesson to you, music industry execs!

Music Industry Executives said...

That does not happen Mr. Tryan Max! People only steal and we would be rich(er) if it weren't for people like you. But instead, we're poor.

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

I, too, acquired legit copies of the various albums I had obtained "illicitly" over the years. As of a few years ago, every album I have that is legally available is paid for.

Re: the spy stuff... this is probably a bigger issue but IMHO it also accounts for why we haven't seen a great post-9/11 war film: context. It's not enough to do a war film, you have to explain things and those explanations may or may not be accurate and people will inevitably disagree.

With spy movies, some people feel you can't do espionage without somehow accounting for all the crap that came before. It's not enough to have a character be a CIA spy, now you have to go out of your way to mention the CIA's various indiscretions, otherwise the film will seem incomplete somehow.

I wouldn't say the Clockwork Orange music was "mangled" per se - Kubrick simply used what he liked: some tracks were shortened, others lengthened, and others were augmented with additional material. The CD I have simply presents Carlos' original compositions.

This is all off the top of my head but it's something that I thought about before.

rlaWTX said...

Great summation of a fun movie: "make it fun, make it fast, make it sexy, and blow some $#!+ up!"

I accept my place as the only person who still appreciates the Ewoks here in Commentaramaland. When I establish my domain on an oil platform off of Bermuda, you will still be invited. [(1) I was a teen girl when they RotJ came out (2) they're fun (3) they get along with R2D2 and scare C3PO]

The Flag Count is impressive!!!! Go, Commentarama!!!

ScottDS said...

rlaWTX -

I was born the year Jedi was released and, truth be told, the Ewoks never bothered me that much. However, in hindsight, they were a harbinger of things to come and an indication of where Lucas' mindset was.

Commander Max said...

I think it's funny that now Princess Leah is a Disney princess.

But the best part, Darth Vader is now a Disney villain. Which I think fits Lucas redo of the character.
I think SW will go the way of the Muppets, only to be brought out to make money. Lucas has been doing that for years(who will notice, or care).

Scott born in 1983, that's when I started driving(16 years old).
The year before that I attended my first Con. I was amazed people were wearing costumes from STWOK(since it only came out the week prior, I had no clue in those days).
I will say you did miss a lot. But every generation can say the same thing. It was a very interesting time just after SW opened. One thing that was very memorable. Marvel comics was putting out SW comics. Each time I saw an issue, the characters were sill wearing SW(ep4) clothes.

Speaking of Starlog, a kids magazine called "Dynamite" was also putting out stories. It must have been the late 70's, but they had a synopses of the movies following SW. They had both movies pegged except for the Ewoks(then it was to be the Wookies, which would have made a better movie).

There is one thing you mercifully missed.
"The SW Christmas Special", you had plenty of warning, those of us who saw it when it aired didn't.
On no, with Disney in charge I can only say, "I've got a bad feeling about this".

ScottDS said...

Max -

I'm well aware of the Star Wars Holiday Special and I'm pretty sure I can easily obtain it online. I've seen bits and pieces (Bea Arthur?) and... yeah. That's all I've got to say about that.

I was wondering if Leia would now be a part of Disney's princess line. (The marketing exec who came up with the idea for the princess line is a genius IMHO.)

I managed to get into movies at the tail end of the Starlog era. I still remember reading them in the bookstore.

And I've always said, if I had a time machine and could only go back to five different times, one of them would be opening night of Star Wars in 1977, just to have the experience with a crowd.

rlaWTX said...

I wanted to be Princess Leia. After the original Star Wars came out (I was in 1st grade - and hadn't seen it, but my "boyfriend" had), we would play Star Wars at recess and my mom would braid my hair and loop it up at the sides. It's a cuter look at 6 years old than on a grown-up.

ScottDS said...

rlaWTX -

From what I've seen, there are plenty of grown-ups who can pull off the Princess Leia look. :-)

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