Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Free Form Comments

Say whatever you want to in the comments to this post -- random, off topic thoughts, ideas, suggestions, questions, recommendations, criticisms (which can be anonymous), surveys, introductions if you have never commented before, personal news, self-promotion, requests to be added to the blog roll and so on. If a week goes by and I have failed to add you to the blog roll TELL ME TO DO IT AGAIN, and KEEP TELLING ME UNTIL IT GETS DONE. I can be lazy about updating the non-post parts of this site. Remember these comments can be directed at all the readers, not just me.

ALSO. You can use this space to re-ask me questions you asked me before that I failed to answer because I was too busy (but now might not be). That is often the reason I fail to get back to people, and on a blog, after a few days, the comments thread dies and I just kind of forget about it. Let's use this space to fix that, because it does need to be fixed; I look like a jackass sometimes, leaving people hanging. I will TRY to respond to any questions here.

AND you can use this space to comment on posts that are old enough that no one is reading the comments threads anymore. For example, if you thought of a great quote for the great quote commonplace book, but now no one is reading that, you could put it here.You do not have to have a blogger account or gmail account to post a comment -- you can write a comment, write your name at the bottom of your comment like an e mail, and then post using the "anonymous" option.

WRITING FOR THIS BLOG. If you think your free form comment here might be better as its own post, but you do not want it to be public yet, email it to me. My email address is available on my blogger profile page. If I think it will work on this site, your post will be published here with your name in the title of the post. You can propose what you will, I am always looking for reviews of games, tv, movies, music and books.


scott91777 said...

A couple of thoughts on movies:

Superbad- I just rewatched it last night and I realized something, without the excellent performances by Michael Cera and the kid who plays Fogell/McLovin this would have been just another American Pie rip off. Cera's delivery takes lines that are the typical teen-sex comedy fare and, through the authentic awkwardness of his low key delivery, makes them hysterical.

Another thought: Superman III is a more cohesive film than the original theatrical release of Superman II. This may seem blasphemous to some but here's why. Superman II was started and about 75% finished by Richard Donner when Dick Lester was brought in (if you haven't already seen Donner's cut of the film, check it out, MUCH better than the original) Lester then used only about 25% of what Donner had shot, opting to re-shoot many scenes himself. The main problem is that Lester had a different vision of the film. Donner has said that his key phrase in the first film (and presumably the second film) was 'verisimilitude', that is, if we are truthful and believe in the story we are telling, then it will be believeable to the audience. Lester's take was "oh it's a 'comic book' movie so that's how I'm going to shoot it." Lester's comic take on the film contradicts with Donner's vision. As a result, we're left with countless gags that just seem out of place in the world that Donner created in the first film.

Superman III, on the other hand, had Lester at the helm from the beginning. The comedic take works because its there from beginning to end. Because of this, the film flows much better. It's not a great film, but it's fun to watch which is much closer to what Lester is good at.

James said...

My abiding memory of Superman III is being TERRIFIED of the part where that one lady gets turned into a robot.

scott91777 said...

Robot lady was pretty frickin' scary... it is really an underated movie, still not saying its a classic, it's just probably a lot better than your remember it. I remember being freaked out by the Clark/Superman fight. I also really enjoy the "Superman as a dick" sequence where he goes around and straightens the leaning tower of Pisa and blows out the olympic torch.

Jason Powell said...

"Superbad- I just rewatched it last night and I realized something, without the excellent performances by Michael Cera and the kid who plays Fogell/McLovin this would have been just another American Pie rip off."

I'd argue that it still is. Maybe if Michael Cera had about three times as many lines as he did, I would agree that he elevated it. As it is, I think the movie drags him down rather than him pulling the film up.

sara d. reiss said...

hey, guess what? there's going to be an A Team movie anyone surprised by this? also, a Thundercats movie is the works. written by some dude who works at Fox somewhere.

pop culture o'philes and 80's fanatics: discuss

Jason Powell said...

Thundercats is my favorite '80s cartoon of all time.

(With "all time" defined here as between Jan. 1, 1980 and Dec. 31, 1989 of course.)

So I should be excited. But, Transformers was a favorite as well and that movie really kind of sucked, didn't it?

But I'm sure I'll see the Thundercats movie even if it looks horrible, because I am too psychotically in love with the whole concept to not see it.

Christian said...

I still think He-man is probably my favorite 80's cartoon. Even if Prince Adam is an amazing closet 'mo and everyone else is clearly mentally retarded, seeing as they can't recognize him, WHEN HE STRIPES DOWN TO A LOINCLOTH AND SM GEAR BUT DOES NOTHING TO ALTER HIS FACE.

And why do everyone who has ever done a cover of Gloomy Sunday insist on using that shitty censorship verse about it being "all a DDRREEEEEEAM" except for Whiteman and Hauser. Bjørk's is the worst though. That fucking Disney Orchestra Happy Happy opening makes me want to KILL MYSELF. And I don't mean in the good way that the song usually does.

As you can probably tell, I'm full of bile today.

scott91777 said...

I never cared for Thundercats, just kind of a He-Man rip off for me. There is a new He-Man movie in the works, there's an interview with the guy who's writing the script in the latest issue of Toyfare. He has at least guaranteed that it will be an "Eternian" movie instead of the 'He-Man comes to earth'theme of the old one.

He-Man is a franchise that I have no nostalgia for. I liked them when I was a kid but, when the new line of figures came out, I just wasn't interested.

My top 80s toy lines would look something like this:

1. Star Wars

2. Transformers

3. G.I. Joe (the vehicles, playsets, and accessories were AWESOME!)

and He-Man would be a DISTANT fourth.

The A Team movie has been in development hell for years. At one time it was rumored that Mel Gibson was going to be Hannibal. Honestly, who can play Mr. T? If they cast anyone OTHER than Mr. T... well, let's just say I pity the fool!

Transformers wasn't great... but, come on, did you really epect it to be? All I wanted was a movie with big robots blowing shit up... and that's what I got! My only problem? Too much actual story and not enough ROBOTS BLOWING SHIT UP!

Jason Powell said...

"My only problem? Too much actual story and not enough ROBOTS BLOWING SHIT UP!"

Exactly. Well, wouldn't have minded the "story" content if it had been good. But it was a lot of pretty bad movie cliches: secret government orgnanization nobody knows about; genius teenage computer hacker who figures everything out; etc. Who thought that stuff like that was more entertaining than giant robots fighting each other?

Also, the action sequences were edited so violently that usually I couldn't even tell which robot was blowing which other robot up. Whassup with that?

scott91777 said...

Speaking of movies with too much talk: The sequel to Alien Vs Predator is coming out. Again, movie would have been much better if it were 90 minutes of Aliens fighting predators.

btnash said...

80's cartoons that I think are ripe for a come back? MASK and DinoRiders. Or am I the only one who ever cared for them?

(I've been reading this blog forever, but it takes a discussion on debatably bad 80's cartoon to get me to comment? What’s with that?)

- bt

Geoff Klock said...

James: A #1 TERRIFIED!!!!

btnash -- don't lets this be your last comment. I like folks who comment.

Josh Hechinger said...

I was watching the first Kill Bill today, and thinking about what Geoff said in his Comic Geek Speak podcast with Fraction. The bit about "it's old Bruce Lee vs new Bruce Lee" with the Crazy 88s.

The more I thought about it, the
more I realized that in the first film, at least, Tarantino's pitting his revenge genre flick against other types that have lost their way or are otherwise the influence equivalent of ex-girlfriends (ex-influences doesn't quite cover it).

Vivica Fox's character is Foxy Brown, Coffy, the blaxploitation revenge heroine...only she's settled down into a sassy homemaker.

Possibly because we don't really see strong black women action heroes in movies anymore, we just see strong black women dealing with...y'know, normal life things.

Luckily(?) here's The Bride to remind us that those strong black women can throw down in a knife fight and call people "bitch" a lot if movies would just let them.

O-Ren is the Asian revenge film (samurai, sure, but she's also Chinese...). This was the first time I noticed she's dressed like Lady Snowblood, and I felt really, really dumb for not picking that up earlier.

Anyway. O-Ren, you'll notice, is really, really smug. She's laughing at the silly white girl (or white filmmaker) trying to bite her style. Surely such a thing cannot be done by these uppity gai-jin, etc.

It's a incredibly difficult fight, and Tarantino/The Bride still obviously has some kind of feeling for Asian cinema/O-Ren...but in the end, Tarantino's saying he can do better.

There's a good chance none of this is new ground, but it's the first time I picked up on it.

Mitch said...

I agree about the third Superman movie-- that slapsticky opening sequence says it all. For years this was the only Superman movie I owned.

Thundercats/He-Man-- I got nothing. Though I loved both of these as a kid, I have no emotional connection. Though I had a good time watching Frank Langella in the He-Man movie during college. I think the director must have told him that Skeletor is a "tragic hero" like Richard III, because that's how he plays it.

Transformers- However, I had an extreme emotional attachment to Transformers. (I think an entire generation came to terms with mortality prematurely when Optimus Prime died in the animated movie.)The new movie was awful. And like Scott and Jason said- the core concept of Transformers is simple and doesn't need to be overcomplicated. It's a story of colonization... one group of colonists wants to integrate and share resources, the other wants to dominate and steal all the resources. Robots fight. The end. No need for "All Sparks" or Australian Hackers. No need for John Voight. No need for Chiwawas with broken legs. Robots. Fighting. That's all.

Christian said...

DinoRiders and MASK were the bomb, yo. ;)

And the old He-Man movie was just a straight up Jack Kirby's Fourth World adaption, right?

And Transformers was awful and made my head hurt really bad with its "logic."
Though Shia was surprisingly non-annoying. And Megan Fox was very, very attractive.

sara d. reiss said...

a quote for geoff from Nathan Rabin's review of "Body of Evidence" (from the "My Year of Flops" series)

"Maybe they can include this film in a Paglia-taught class on, I dunno, Madonna, Androgyny, Gender Subversion, and Sado-Masochism in Popular Culture As a Form of Social Protest as part of an elective credit devoted to colossal wastes of everyone’s time."

Jason Powell said...

"And the old He-Man movie was just a straight up Jack Kirby's Fourth World adaption, right?"

I remember reading it was largely inspired by Kirby's "New Gods." Or is that the same thing as "Fourth World"?

And yeah, MASK was awesome! I liked that there was a guy whose mask just shot ball bearings out of the front. (I remember asking my parents what a "ball bearing" was after watching an episode of that cartoon. True story.)

scott91777 said...

MASK is due for a comeback, awesome toy line. Dino-Riders were pretty cool but I don't think they were big enough for a comeback.

He-Man & Kirby's Fourth World (yes, that's the same as New Gods):
I think it's my understanding that the script for the Masters of the Universe was originally supposed to be an adaptation of the fourth world/New Gods but due to some sort of copyright issues it was shelved and then adapted to the Masters of the Universe movie. Makes sense, the device that creates portals in the movie would have been the motherbox.

Seems like toys have produced the most productive Free Form Comments in a while :)

scott91777 said...

One more clue to the Masters movie being 4th world: At one point, Skeletory disinigrates a henchman with eyebeams,a la Darkseid's Omega Beams.