Monday, December 1, 2014

Cross Anatomy

This chart is from a website called Wrong Hands ( ). I've got to hand it to the creator of this, Mr. John Atkinson.  This works and can be plugged in to most movies I've seen.  However I'm unfamiliar with the majority of Art House films so I'll have to take his word for it in that category.  However I can picture myself running away screaming from the movie theater sometime during the "abrupt arbitrary edits" segment of the film.  By minute 270 I'd probably be looking for refuge at the bottom of a Jack-In-The-Box milkshake, trying desperately to unsee whichever art house film I'd subjected myself to.  Or bleeding from my eyes.
I tried to plug in the recent Hobbit movies since I've been recently re-watching them.  Yes, I know.  Hobbit purists please curb your anger.  I've read it too and know how much filler was added.  I choose to enjoy them for what they are and take solace in the fact that Jar Jar isn't involved.  And no, I don't consider Radigast the Brown to be the Jar Jar of the Hobbit movies.  Anyway... where was I?

Oh yes, the Hobbit movies would have to combine the "Action" with the "Sci-Fi" to work here in my opinion.  I had to look up who John Williams is because I suppose I'm not enough of a movie geek to already know he did the music for the Star Wars prequels and the Harry Potter movies. For the "Action" influence the tacked-on white orc works for the "heavily accented villain" but "AC/DC" would probably have to be replaced with, I don't know... Enya?  The cable car sequence part is represented by the goblin bridge chase/fall in the first movie and the barrel ride in the second movie.

For the "Sci-Fi" part of the mash-up the "techno-babble" is easily replaced with the history of Dale and the King Under the Mountain.  And "angry orcs and dragon" fills in nicely for the "angry robots...".  After that I don't think any other changes are necessary.

For your homework in the comments section, please create your own timeline for the following movie types not shown in the chart:

Buddy Comedy
Christmas Movie
Thriller (Basic Instinct, for example)
Kids Movie


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bennie and the Invisible Jets

In 2017 we are to be treated to a new Wonder Woman movie. Allegedly it's been in the works since 2001 but changes directors and writers more than a few times. As of the writing of this post they have exactly one actor on board. Wonder Woman is to be played by Gal Gadot!  Yeah, I don't know her either. 

Until then we have MeTV.  Saturday nights on the MeTV network present a raft of science fiction tv shows. They include the old, live-action Batman, Wonder Woman, Star Trek, Svengoolie (a monster movie host in the vein of Elvira) (Elvira, by the way had the best pinball game of all time and if I had an extra $6,000. lying around I'd have one of my own) (just so you know) then there's Lost In Space and some under-sea show. 
D'oh, Little Buddy!
Anyway the episode of Wonder Woman called "Amazon Hot Wax" (Yes really!) is what I found most intriguing. I was ready to settle in to a show about how South American Nazis had infiltrated Company X or Government Agency Y but to my surprise that didn't happen. I know!  I'm as surprised as you. I figured since it's Wonder Woman then that's a given. Kind of like that episode of Gilligan's Island when they almost get off the island but then Gilligan does something goofy and messes it all up. 

The Real Kenny Loggins
This episode was about the music industry and how some Kenny Loggins look-alike faked his own death so his album would go platinum. His agent with a bushy '70s mustache was then forced to pay ransom to some sleazy character with a bushy '70s mustache to get the last songs of the "dead" Kenny Loggins clone (KLC). Other musical acts also play a part in the episode. There's a brother sister "Carpenters" type of act and a trio band in white-painted faces just out for a good time. One of which has a bushy '70s mustache. By this time I started missing the South American Nazis. 

Linda Carter was under cover as a new singer that sounded a lot like Karen Carpenter. As it turns out KLC ended up playing the role of damsel in distress after it was learned he was still alive via clues found on the cover of his last album that looked curiously like the cover of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. 

In the end Wonder Woman was able to foil the plot of the villains with the help of the zany white-faced trio (one of which had a bushy '70s mustache.) and the fake "Carpenters" turned out to be in league with the villain with the bushy '70s mustache. Judge Reinhold was one of the fake Carpenters and one of the zany white-faced trio was none other than the Working Class Dog, Rick Springfield. He wasn't the one with the bushy '70s mustache. 

Judge Reinhold
Rick Springfield

Here's Diana singing.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Afterparty... OF DOOM!

Life without cable/satellite service can be a little hard on a sports fan. However it does give me opportunity to reconnect with classic media such as radio. Baseball is good on radio, football is OK but I still get that on regular TV. Basketball on radio is miserable. When I want something other than sports and nothing of interest is at the dollar cinema I do have one other option than regular antenna TV. Amazon Prime via the Wii game console. I'm sure it's not as extensive as Netflix when it comes to movies and TV shows but it provides quite a bit of viewing material. Another drawback is that some titles are not included in our membership and have an additional charge but we've only had to do that one or two times.

A new feature of streaming TV seems to be shows made exclusively for streaming services. Amazon has been showing the pilot episodes for a bevy of new shows it is producing to do just that. I watched two recently. One was a comedy about a Los Angeles pro football team and the zany hijinks of its new owner. She was the wife of the owner but he died and she took over. Oh and she's a former cheerleader so the writers have some built-in jokes when they need them. It wasn't bad but I think they tried too hard to be "edgy" read: filthy and inappropriate for anyone under 30.  I won't lie and say I didn't find parts of it funny, I did. I just think it could have been done in a PG 13 format and still maintained the humor.

Another pilot I watched was called The After which hinted in the promo that it was a post apocalyptic drama that gets you started right before the apocalypse happens. It caught my attention because I'm interested in the sociology of survival and it was produced by Chris Carter of X-Files fame. It starts with a vaguely European woman with a family but she's on a trip to California to audition to be an actress. The day starts off just fine and there's a little foreshadowing with an unexplained gathering of police officers here and there. Not long after her audition some confusion happens and she's thrown together with a group of people that hate each other.  All the power goes out, phones don't work, no one knows what's going on.  To quote Michael Binkly, It's all higgledy-piggledy! At this point the band of heroes and anti-heroes are trapped in a parking garage and one or two "mysterious" things happen. Unexplained creepy figures walking by without the panic everyone else is going through, that sort of thing.  A couple of the group escape the automatically closed gates of the garage and try to get help for the others.  Outside it's a scene of s-l-o-w-l-y developing chaos.

Later the happy band of survivors gets back together and after the requisite mob scene, gunfight, hate filled tirades (lots of those), they get to the stately manor of one of the party.  All the while you are kept in the dark about the source of the new found apocalypse. So lets look at our options.

The Crisis could be:
1. Robot Apocalypse: example, The Terminator
B. Zombie Apocalypse: take your pick, it moves as slowly as "The Walking Dead" but there are so many options.
5. Terrorism: Live Free or Die Hard
6. Extra Terrestrial: meteor, aliens
C. Other: It is Chris Carter making this thing after all.

At the house we're treated to more fussing, some class warfare tirades, and finally a hostage standoff that leads us to the big reveal. Oh, before the hostage standoff we find another clue to the show.  All of the group have something strange in common but the show's not gonna tell you any more than that. A chase in the woods after the hostage standoff brings all the survivors back together and suddenly "it" appears and understandably freaks out the group (above image). In the span of a few seconds some more clues are revealed but you'd probably have to search for them on Internet conspiracy websites.  Have at it if that makes you happy.  I watched until the end of the credits just in case there was another clue or two but no luck.

Think X-Files mixed with Millennium reformatted for today's TV market.  I'd watch more episodes of the show but I'm not sure the rest will be a part of the free service.  Here's the website that has all the shows they're putting out.  I couldn't get past the first 10 minutes of the "gritty cop drama".