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.