Flicks With Friends presents.... the ultimate playlist of awesome theme music from movies. The themes that inspire you, captivate you, take you back, feel nostalgic, make you cry. Great for study or chill, or even to jam.
Fair warning, that this space can be a little more primal. While the face of Flicks With Friends is bright and shiny, the blog is more like the seedy underbelly. These are my uncensored brain droppings. I tend to write stream of consciousness style, and as such these may be raw and not nearly as well produced as the video segments.
They also may be more cynical. While I want Flicks With Friends to celebrate and uplift movies, there are times where I need to vent about them. This is that space.
Also a note for those who peruse archives, many of these are older posts, rescued from various sources to preserve them. Literally an archive process. As such, the initial offerings may not be hot off the press kinda stuff. I'll try and provide you with updated content soon.
Buckle up kids, this is a long one, cause it's taken me awhile to put my thoughts in order. (It's also pretty vulgar, because I am wound up and I tend to swear more when I'm upset, so earmuffs.)
Hollywood, you have a problem, and it's far past time to acknowledge it.
Not only acknowledge, but drag it kicking and screaming from the darkness into the light and destroy it for the backward thinking, archaic and demeaning thing it is.
I'm talking (of course) about rampant sexism, misogyny and rape culture.
It's been the subject of a joke for too long. "The Casting Couch". And we all nervously laugh because it just couldn't be true, could it? But it is. It has been a joke for so long, there must be an element of truth to it. Rich white men in power are using their money and their power to take advantage of others, specifically women.
I've seen it first hand in scripts, where the female protagonists are always described with words like "attractive", "buxom", "full lips", "a figure to die for" etc... There is nary a word about their personality, or how an actor might tackle the role. Just a physical description of them.
I've seen it first hand in casting sessions, where directors are going after a certain "look".
I've seen the clips in movies that depict uncomfortable women being asked to say or do things they shouldn't have to in order to get an acting job.
I've heard the jokes that the award hosts make. Those thinly veiled barbs that the audience chuckles at nervously, then looks around to see if any of the producers noticed.
And as accusation after accusation piles up on Harvey Weinstein (and now others as these brave women AND MEN come forward) I can only say enough is enough.
On behalf of all men, you fuckers need to knock this shit off. It's unbecoming, uncalled for, unwelcome and WRONG.
As someone who used to look up to people like Weinstein, I am sickened and disgusted. This was a role model? This was someone I thought to emulate in a business sense? This was someone I was envious of his success?
Fuck you Harvey.
As someone attempting to make a living off of Hollywood now and wanting to make a living IN Hollywood eventually, you need to be setting a higher standard for me to look up to.
Women are people, not objects. They are Human fucking beings. They don't deserve this sub par treatment and constant harassment. Meetings should NOT be held in hotel rooms. If you are too busy to meet in the lobby or your office, you are too busy to have that meeting. These women really aren't interested in talking through an open bathroom door while you shower. They aren't interested in giving you a massage, sharing your champagne, man handling your prick, or trading in sexual favors for parts in movies.
They are applying for a job. The end.
How you could abuse your position is beyond me. Oh, I know it's been going on since the beginning, and everyone has turned a blind eye to it, and blah, blah, blah.
Fuck that shit.
Movies are my religion, get it? The culture, the experience, the magic of the silver screen. And like these assholes who wanna shoot up movie theatres, you are taking a shit in my church.
Knock it the fuck off and crawl back under whatever primeval rock spit you out.
That goes for all the rest of you too. Wether you are a movie mogul or a politician, I am so tired of seeing these reports, of looking at FRIENDS pages plastered with #MeToo I could scream. In many ways, that's what this rant is: One big long scream into the net either. I have no delusions, Harvey, I know you're not reading my post and rethinking your life. But maybe, someone out there is who will be in a position of power someday. And maybe they'll remember this moment and go "No More."
No fucking more.
Okay, this is a long (and raw) rant, so bear with me...
Yesterday sucked, and it sucked hardcore. It wasn't one event, piece of bad news or even catastrophic loss, it was just a series of little things that became big things that spiraled out of control and became an avalanche of negativity and frustration. It was the kind of soul sucking, emotionally draining, full of dumb ass fucktardary that can break a person. I was that person, and I nearly broke. Like collapsed into a sobbing mess at work kind of broke. THAT'S how much yesterday sucked.
And now with the light of a new day upon us, I have a resolution. Most New Year's resolutions are losing weight, or making more money, or staying in contact with friends and family more, etc... And those are fine. I have those same ones too. But for the last several years I've kinda sworn off the resolution bit, cause it doesn't really change anything it seems, other than to make me feel even more a failure when said resolution is forgotten about and so much dust by February.
I have a simple one. I'm gonna carry this pin with me.
If you saw Tomorrowland, you may know why. If not, I'll briefly explain. In the movie, the pin induces a gateway vision to a wonderful place known as Tomorrowland; where jetpacks exist, impossible things happen, and there is by-God hope.
And that's what I need in my life. Some positive waves and hope. Don't misunderstand, I'm not buried under the weight of depression (at least, I don't think I am) I'm not giving you a sob story. Just relaying the tale of a bad day. But the thing about bad days is that they end. Tomorrow will be better.
The pin is a reminder that tomorrow, or at least the promise of tomorrow is better than now. Whatever shit life throws at me, whatever bog I'm trapped in, whatever little things that become big things... I'll grab the pin, and know that tomorrow will be better. Period. Cause it has to be.
The promise of tomorrow.
This simple thought brought a weight off my shoulders this morning, and a smile to my face. I feel better. I feel INSPIRED. I feel creative. I feel READY. All those emotions I felt when watching the movie, I feel now. The pin sits on my desk at the moment.staring at me with hope. With promise.
The promise of tomorrow.
Now stand aside, I've got shit to do.
2014 is already shaping up to be a rough year for celebrity deaths. First the raw acting talent of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, then the icon of Shirley Temple. Now we've lost another, and closer friend, Harold Ramis. If, like me, you grew up in the 70s and 80s, you knew this man from both sides of the camera. From his hysterical sidekick roles in Stripes and Ghostbusters, to his talented script writing in Meatballs and Animal House, Caddyshack and the aforementioned Stripes, to his deft direction of classics like Vacation and Groundhog Day. Harold Ramis was responsible quite literally for molding our generation.
Let's be honest here. Watching Stripes, (probably late at night on HBO when we were definitely NOT allowed to be watching something R rated) we all wanted to be Bill Murray. He was funny, glib, got the ladies and totally ruled as the de facto leader of that platoon. BUT underneath, we all knew we weren't as good, weren't as funny, weren't as off the cuff. The truth is while we all wanted to be Bill Murray, we all identified with Harold Ramis. It was as the sidekick he shone, supporting the leads, being funny and likable, and above all, relatable. No one really identifies with Murray's Winger, it's Russell Ziskey with real problems and worries-and who actually does the work-who we all latched on to.
But his biggest contribution may have been his portrayal of Dr. Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters. Egon made science cool long before Bill Nye and Mythbusters were on the scene.
Sure, Venkman got the jokes, but Egon got the deadpan one liners that just killed us. "Egon, this reminds me of the time you tried to drill a hole through your head. Remember that?" Sure, its funny. But it's Egon's next line that sells the scene: "That would have worked if you hadn't stopped me."
Or watch the subtle way Ramis played Egon during the Ghostbusters TV commercial. As each member of the team steps forward to talk into the camera, he looks down for a presumed mark on the floor first. He elevated straight man to a whole new level, and made geek sheik. Before Doc Brown, Egon was the scientist that we all strived to be.
I have Ernie Hudson's autograph hanging in a spot of honor on my wall, and I remember thinking, thats one. I am devastated to know that I will never be able to collect all four now from a purely selfish standpoint. But more devastating, is the fact that the world has lost a unique talent, a wonderful human being, and a role model to a generation.
Don't cross the streams, and we'll see you on the other side, Dr. Spengler.
There’s a conceit among comic and movie fans that Zack Snyder just isn’t very good. The man has been vilified time and again, in print reviews, in on-line blogs, and the hearts and minds of many geeks. I would like to construct a different view, arguing that in-fact the man is a competent and wonderful director of thought provoking escapism and faithful comic adaptations.
In order to do this, I must first point to another director who IS regarded among comic fans as a competent and wonderful director of thought provoking escapism and faithful comic adaptations: Edgar Wright.
Some would argue Wright isn’t even a fair measuring stick, since the majority of his big screen work (The Cornetto Trilogy) comes hitched to the wagon that is Simon Pegg, but I think a large chunk of the argument can be made with those three films. Edgar Wright understands his genre, whatever genre in which he is working.
Shaun Of The Dead is a hilarious spoof of zombie movies. But it is not just a send up in the same manner that Scary Movie is a spoof of horror films. Shaun Of The Deadis simultaneously a slacker buddy flick and a romantic comedy set in a zombie movie, but is also a zombie movie in it’s own right. What makes a zombie movie? Well, zombies obviously, but also the rules: like shots to the head, biting gets you infected, and the slow, relentless march toward inevitability. What makes the film work is that it plays by the same rules that govern the zombie movie universe. Edgar Wright understands this, and NEVER sacrifices those rules for the sake of a joke or steps out-of-bounds.
He plays by the rules of that genre.
Likewise, Hot Fuzz is a hilarious send up of the action/buddy cop movie that was such a stable of the American film scape of the 80s and 90s. But, it’s not just a spoof of films it references like Lethal Weapon, Bad Boys and Point Break, because it respects the rules of the genre and adheres to them. Think about it, everything that Nick Frost’s Danny asks about (“Ever fired a gun whilst leaping through the air?” “Ever fired two guns whilst leaping through the air?”) is a standard trope of cop action flicks. And every one of them happens by the time Hot Fuzz has unspooled, down to the fact that a cop can’t solve the case until he’s been suspended from the force. The film never steps outside the confines of what it’s emulating, for this is it’s own law.
But it’s Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World that makes the strongest case for Edgar Wright, by following the rules of the video game genre, AND being a faithful adaptation (without the benefits of Simon Pegg’s acting or writing). First off, the movie stays very faithful to the books, in some cases breaking down panel by panel and transforming them into storyboards for scenes. Scott and Ramona’s date is one example, even going so far as to keep character placement and shot selection within the boundaries set by the printed book. The next day, when she skates off and melts snow in her wake, it’s a perfectly realized visual of the original image. And of course there’s motion lines and the onomatopoeias that visually float in the air when they appear and occasionally interact with the characters.
Fans of the comic are quick to point out that yes, there are some changes here and there, and minor subplots that were left out, but you only have so much time in a movie to tell the “A” plot. Even in the omissions Wright make right by choosing which ones to leave out.
But the film also adheres to video game logic. Scott’s opponents burst into coins when defeated, because that’s the kind of thing that happens in video games. It’s structured like a game with mini-bosses leading up to the big boss fight. And after Scott gains an extra life (and is forced to use it) he doesn’t just pick up where he left off, he has to fight the boss level all over again, (starting outside the club and working his way to Gideon, but in true gamer fashion, correcting the mistakes he’s made along the way). The film is all about the language of video games, and Edgar Wright nails it, for he speaks the dialogue. Note the use of color in all the fight scenes. It looks like a video game. To top it all off, like Video game fights—which never lose the player amidst the action—the well-choreographed fight moves within Scott Pilgrim never leave you confused as to who is who or where they are in relation to anyone else.
It’s many of these same technical elements that define Zach Snyder’s work. Like Edgar Wright, he worked on the small screen first, doing commercials instead of television shows, but burst onto the big screen with his own zombie film, the reimagining of George Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead. When studio heads at Universal complained, “You’re a commercial director. Make it look like a commercial. Why does it look like this?” Snyder replied, “It’s just not appropriate. This is like a cult movie; it should look like a cult movie not like a Hollywood slick freak-out. It should be a love letter to the original movie, not a copy or mock of the original movie.”
But it’s 300 that really begins to showcase what Zack Snyder is capable of. Taking Frank Miller’s dark, violent retelling of the battle of Thermopile and transforming it into a living, breathing film is no small feat, and yet the film perfectly mirrors the style and look of the comic. And again, within the confines of the world that has been created, the rules are obeyed. The Spartans are heroic, the blood is splashy, and in the end, the heroes still die. But despite the epic and chaotic nature of the battles you never loose focus on who is fighting whom. This may be helped that the invading Persian army is pretty much a mass of faceless threats, (just like the book) but the Spartan characters fare much better and are treated with deft diligence.
Watchmen is a masterpiece of filmmaking. Unlike the film version of V For Vendetta(which took great liberties with Alan Moore’s original source work) Watchmen changed only two “major” things. One, the comic within a comic story was excised (becoming a separate motion comic of it’s own), and I do not lament its loss. While a fun story, Tales Of The Black Freighter was more an example of world building than an integral piece of the story, simply a thread of the tapestry that didn’t really make it “A” plot needed.
The second change could be construed as blasphemous: the changing of the ending. Instead of the giant psychic space squid imagined as a threat to the world to band together in the graphic novel, it’s changed to Dr. Manhattan himself. First off, a giant psychic space squid? That’s what Ozymandias came up with? Space Squid?!? Seriously? Wouldn’t that just cause the humans to run to the supers for protection instead of bandying together?
Secondly, with the nuclear countdown clock a repeated theme throughout the novel and film, doesn’t it make more sense for an exploding Dr. Manhattan to be responsible to show our folly? I know a naked blue guy taking out New York would seriously make me rethink my atomic stockpile. With all due respect to Alan Moore for not liking the splashy Hollywood movie process, Snyder perfectly distilled down his very plot dense novel into something digestible, while still keeping it entertaining and entrenched in the world Moore created. Watchmen still feels like its set in alternate universe 1980s where Nixon is still president.
It’s also gloriously brilliant in it’s imagery, like when Dr. Manhattan is on Mars and builds the clockwork machine. Those are images I couldn’t wait to see captured and Snyder did it beautifully. The same hold true for Night Owl and Silk Specter hooking up. Between this and the sex scene in 300, I’d pay to see a Zach Snyder porno.
Sucker Punch is either masterful or vile depending on your take, but I fall on masterful. While an original story, the dream within a dream world is very video game/comic book genre and again abides by the rules that dictate interactions within. The guns are big, the girl’s outfits are not, (in some scenes “scantily clad” doesn’t hold enough weight), and when all else fails, grab a sword. I know people want to jump on the “Zach Snyder is very anti women” bandwagon because of this one. Is he in fact, objectifying them by setting up a scenario that can best be described as a fan boy wet dream? Does it not apply because he has made them strong, masters of their own destiny? Or is it simply a case of playing by the rules of the genre?
Unfortunately, Now I have to try to back up my argument with Man Of Steel. Believe me, I could fill 3 times the space here on what I didn't like about the movie. But I will say that It’s a spectacular achievement in action films, probably last summer’s most eye-popping spectacle. I’ve come to expect no less from Zach Snyder. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem much like a Superman movie to me. For all the hyperbole about hope, there isn’t much on display here. I like my Superman a bit more humanized. Yes, I grew up with Christopher Reeve, who will forever be Superman. But even comparing the film to the comics that inspired it, Sups seems a bit off his game. It’s not the killing of Zod that bothered me as it did so many other fan boys shouting “Superman does not kill!” He does. Look it up. When necessary it has happened before. I have no problem with that. It’s the lack of compassion and concern that lead up to that moment. How many innocent people were wiped out in the fight between Kal-El and Zod because the Man Of Steel refused to take the fight outside?
But despite those faults, Man Of Steel still manages to play by the rules established within the superhero universe and remain faithful to the Superman mythos. In that regard, I submit that Zach Snyder is in fact, a competent director, much like Michael Bay. I know, its en vogue to hate on Michael “Explosions” Bay the same way it’s now cool to hate on George Lucas and Star Wars. And yes, he bastardized the Transformers movies. But before that, he made good solid action films that helped redefine a genre. Bad Boys, The Rock and yes, even Armageddon are masterfully made and very entertaining.
Zach Snyder does no less. I'll hold my breath for Superman/Batman (or whatever we're calling it this week) and see how he does.
Maybe I'll need to revise my title to "In Defense Of Zach Snyder's Early Films". Or maybe not.
So, the 2013 Oscar Nominations were announced last week. Geeks collectively held their breath... and once again came away disappointed. Once again, the academy has decided NOT to reward the geek genre with anything other than technical awards. I'm not saying the nominated films are not deserving, I'm not saying they're not good, I'm just saying that maybe it's time for the AMPAS to wake up and realize that there are other forms of good entertainment out there than just the high minded drama.
Here's my list of the biggest disappointments:
Since the expansion of the Best Picture category from five to ten films a few years back, the prevailing thought was that it would allow the Oscars to showcase a wider array of films. Sure, we still really only expect it to be a five film race, but tossing out a cursory nod to worthy films is a nice consolation prize. And again, I'm not saying anything against this year's nominated films.
But, it's disheartening as a geek to see films like THE HOBBIT, THE AVENGERS, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (which in and of it self was a snub from THE DARK KNIGHT failing to get a nod years ago. Had it been nominated, it would have been representative of the the trilogy as a whole, not unlike RETURN OF THE KING) get snubbed completely.
Are any of these films truly best of the year material? No, but are they among the top ten films of the year? If anything, the film that really deserves to be up with the best of the best would be SKYFALL. Fans and critics alike applauded this grown up, well made Bond film, the box office reflected their appreciation, and it was gaining momentum as a dark horse in the weeks leading up to the noms. Would it have had a snowball's chance against the likes of a LINCOLN or LES MIS? Of course not. But it would have been nice to have seen it up there, especially with a strange glaring hole in this years list of nine best films. NINE?
Is there a greater snub than to have your film nominated for best picture, but not pick up a directing nod? Ask Ben Affleck, Quentin Tarantino, Kathryn Bigelow and Tom Hooper. While ARGO, DJANGO UNCHAINED, ZERO DARK THIRTY and LES MIS got the top honors, the people who helmed them and arguably were most instrumental in crafting and shaping the vision of those films were left off the list.
I could go on, (and on and on and on if I took Oscar history into account). There is a natural prejudice against science fiction / fantasy / horror when it comes to awards. Think of the number of films that fall into those genres that have ever won top prize throughout the history of the academy... yep. There's only one. 2003's LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING. If you stretch you can include AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, all the way back in 1953. In the entire history of the academy awards, only 16 sci/fan/hor films have been nominated for best picture, ever.
Again, not every piece of space opera deserves an academy award, but if we're truly talking best films of the year, I defy anyone to tell me that at least SKYFALL and THE AVENGERS do not make their list. And ultimately what the Academy has done has presented us with a very standard, almost boring line up. It seems almost a lock for LINCOLN to clean house, and does pave the way for Spielberg to take home his third directing Oscar. For a complete list of this year's nominees, click HERE.
We can console ourselves with owning the Peoples Choice Awards (with nods to The Big Bang Theory, Nathan Fillion, THE HUNGER GAMES and Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man among many others) but by the same token, Adam Sandler won Favorite Comedic Actor on the strength of his performance in this year's THAT'S MY BOY. Really, people?
"Bond, James Bond."
Mel and I have been on mission, on her majesty's secret service, you might say. 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the release of DR. NO to theaters, and today sees the US release of SKYFALL, the newest Bond film in the franchise.
Despite the fact that the 24 films (26 if you count the "non-canonical" NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN and the original CASINO ROYALE starring David Niven, Peter Sellers and Woody Allen) have no strong plot ties to bring them together, we decided (well, I decided and she went along with it) to do a marathon of ALL of the bond films this year, starting in May. We averaged three a month, starting with DR. NO and working our way forward. I'd seen them all before of course. I know of Sean Connery's appeal as the first (and some fan's ONLY Bond), I grew up with Roger Moore, so in many ways, he's MY Bond, and fell for Pierce Brosnan's perfect blend between the two, but after the re-watch, I finally feel qualified to offer up my Top Ten list:
10. THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN - (1974) This is Roger Moore's second outing as the suave sophisticated secret agent, and it shows how comfortable he's gotten in the role. Exotic locations, a pair of Bond beauties in Maud Adams and Britt Ekland, a masterful plot by the villain (wonderfully played by Christopher Lee and of course, Herve Villechaize as Nick Nack).
This one is fun. Sure, some of the fun house sequences are a little out there, and some of the martial arts are played for laughs, but it is 70's Bond after all.
9. THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH - (1999) Pierce Brosnan in his third outing as Bond, and it's a hoot. Yes, it has dark moments like the cringe inducing Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist. Not only can she not act, but is that even remotely believable? Even for a Bond film? But I think it makes up for it with the daring choice to have Sophie Marceau be the villainess. Bond has never faced a woman on top before (rim shot!) and it was an interesting direction to take.
Desmond Llewellen's Q gets a heart touching send off in his last Bond film. Also, Judi Dench's M gets way more screen time in this one, and takes full advantage of it, fleshing out her relationship with Bond, and the pre-title sequence with an attack on MI6 and subsequent boat chase is pure magic.
7. TOMORROW NEVER DIES - (1997) People look at me like I'm crazy when I say I like this one better than Brosnan's kick off film GOLDENEYE. But I think my taste is justified in that this is fundamentally a better movie. GOLDENEYE had too much pressure on it, Brosnan is stiff and working to be Bond, here he's relaxed into the role and much more fluid. Yes, they had run out of books to base them on so the plot seems a bit far fetched... or is it? A media mogul (Jonathan Pryce having a blast) starts a war between England and China so that he can cover it. If William Randolph Hearst was alive today, it's something he might come up with. And then there's the car. GOLDENEYE's biggest flaw was introducing us to the beautiful new Bond BMW, fully loaded as Q would say... and then it never gets used! WTF!?!? They address the error quite well here, putting the car through it's paces in a parking garage, and Brosnan looks like he's having the time of his life driving it... by remote control.
5. FOR YOUR EYES ONLY - (1981) Roger Moore was beginning to show his age in this one, but it's a fantastic story of a woman seeking revenge for the death of her family by a double agent. Very 80's with it's Lotus and soundtrack by Bill Conti, but far more believable than the nearly farcical (but still a guilty pleasure) MOONRAKER that preceded it.
Topol and Julian Glover are picture perfect as a pair of former friends and comrades turned against each other in the Greek underworld. The climax which has Bond climbing a sheer rock face to reach a monastery is still amazing to watch.
4. LICENSE TO KILL (1989) - Timothy Dalton gets a bad rap among the Bond fan community for this one, the lowest grossing film in the series. BUT, take into account it was released in Summer of '89, the biggest summer ever at the time. It faced stiff competition from BATMAN, INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE, LETHAL WEAPON 2, GHOSTBUSTERS 2 and more.
I remember seeing this one in the theater Friday night opening weekend. Just me, and six other people.
Yikes did it get clobbered financially, and Bond has never strayed back into summer release waters again. BUT, it's a great movie, with Robert Davi playing a drug kingpin who fed Bond's CIA friend Felix Liter to the sharks. This time, it's personal screamed the ads. And they were right. Bond went all the way off the reservation to extract his revenge, pulling off some of the greatest stunt work involving semi-trucks ever, and all before CGI. Well done sir. Well done.
3. GOLDFINGER (1964) - This is regarded as the quintessential Bond film. Sean Connery is at the height of his powers, there's a fantastic plot involving a raid on Fort Knox, there's Pussy Galore, Odd Job, Shirley Bassey singing arguably the best theme song in the franchise, the Aston Martin makes it's first appearance (complete with ejector seat), and of course the now infamous exchange: "Do you expect me to talk?" "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die." They don't make them like this anymore.
So why isn't it on the top of my list? Well, quite honestly, it's overhyped as well.
Bond spends over half the movie as a prisoner, Goldfinger's undoing (despite his immense wealth) is cheating at cards and golf, scenic Kentucky doesn't have quite the same flare as a true exotic locale, and Pussy Galore... ah, Pussy. Why does she changer her mind so easily after sleeping with Bond? She caves and agrees to help and ruins Goldfinger's plan, and it all happens off camera! Other than these nitpicks, yes, it is perfection.
1. ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE (1969) - Poor George Lazenby, having to follow up Sean Connery. This is his only outing as Bond, and while he's not fantastic, he does a good job. The film however, does a great job, giving us action and stunts galore, mixed with a great plot about Bond going undercover and finding true love with Tracy (Diana Rigg) even going so far as to get married and resign from MI6. But of course, there are no happy endings. Blofeld (Telly Savalas) will make sure of that.
I am of course aware that everyone has their own ideas of what makes a great Bond film, and one man's trash is another man's treasure. If you agree (or disagree) with my picks, let me know!
One of the biggest pieces of news to hit the pipeline in... well, almost EVER has been this week's acquisition of LucasFilm by Disney. George Lucas, notorious for wanting to keep STAR WARS fresh and yet retain control over the property sold it along with his production company (and it's holdings Skywalker Sound, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), and LucasArts, not to mention INDIANA JONES if they can work out a deal with Paramount) to the House Of Mouse. It makes sense, as I've previously blogged on, Lucas never really seemed to like being a businessman anyway. Now he can sit back and retire and dabble and go back to making films like clouds in the desert like when he was at USC. Oh, and the fact that Disney paid $4.05 BILLION doesn't hurt either. If that wasn't enough of an announcement to reel from, came the immediate follow up, that Disney plans STAR WARS: Episode VII and it will be released in 2015.
The silence you heard was thousands of fanboy hearts as they skipped a beat.
More STAR WARS?
I can honestly say I'm torn on the issue, something I never expected to be. STAR WARS without George? Yes, he's remaining as a "creative consultant" and yes, he's passed on notes and story ideas to Kathleen Kennedy, who will take over the day to day operations at LucasFilm. But will he still have a hand in it? And after what many fans consider to be the disastrous prequels, should he? And quite honestly, I was ready for STAR WARS to be done. It had been a good ride, it was a lot of fun, and then it was over. Sad, but okay, all things come to an end. I had made my peace with it. Suddenly I have to readjust that position.
Then there's the Disney factor. Yes, Disney has done good recently by acquiring Pixar, and then keeping out of their way, allowing the studio to do what it does best in putting out quality films. They've done the same with Marvel, and we got THE AVENGERS. And, they just revamped THE MUPPETS, which was beyond awesome. But, they've also been a little lackluster on the Sci-Fi end. Historically, Disney doesn't do science fiction, and when they do it ends poorly. Yes, they have TRON and TRON LEGACY to point to, but TRON didn't start off as a classic, it attained that status after years, and Legacy wasn't exactly the home run we were hoping for. Anyone remember THE BLACK HOLE (which was in and of itself a poorly done STAR WARS rip off?) And then there's JOHN CARTER, which I understand isn't too bad a film, but it was advertised so badly it just proves the studio doesn't know what to do with these properties.
But now they've got the big enchilada. As if to say, "We really can't do good Sci-Fi, let's go out and get some. And if we're gonna do that, let's get the biggest property around." Don't get me wrong, it could be phenomenal. They could get a great script together and give it too... oh, I dunno, how 'bout wunderkid and AVENGERS director Joss Whedon? Think he'd know what to do with STAR WARS?
That sound you just heard was thousands of fanboy hearts skipping another beat.
But then again, it could be the next BATTLEFIELD EARTH.
And that sound you just heard, was millions of voices as they cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.
Sorry kids, but until I know more, I've resigned myself to being cautiously optimistic.
One of the most frustrating things about science fiction (and one of my favorites), are the bold claims made in the genre that are ultimately proven false. This isn't to say these claims shouldn't be made. After all, one of the great things about science fiction is the ability to ask... What if? But while I appreciate the perceived realism that attaching a date to an event creates, writers in the genre have to know that it's ultimately a trap. After all, their claims will inevitably fall short.
Now obviously I couldn't list EVERY event from EVERYTHING on here. I mean, I'm pretty sure that there was no DeLorean spotted cruising the streets of Hill Valley in 1955 in an attempt to get home, but as the story has no way of being disproved either, I'll let it slide. But some writers get audacious with their stories and make outlandish claims that would affect most if not all of the world. It is with those in mind I present a timeline of the future... flawed as it is.
1972 - The Icarus is launched on mankind's epic first interstellar flight, and promptly disappears. Discovering the ship may have been thrown into a time warp, a second rescue ship is readied and sent, traveling the same trajectory. PLANET OF THE APES (1969) / BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES (1971)
1973 - The Icarus returns, landing off the California coast. Inside the ship instead of our astronauts, the world is stunned to find three English speaking apes. ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES (1973)
1987 - "The year is 1987, and NASA launches the last of America's deep space probes. In a freak mishap, Ranger III and it's pilot Captain William "Buck" Rogers are blown out of their trajectory into an orbit which freezes his life support system and returns Buck Rogers to Earth... 500 years later..." Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979)
1990 - The Captain Trips superflu overtakes the world, killing 99% of the earth's population.The Stand (1990)
1992 - Khan Noonien Singh, a genetically engineered superman, rules one fourth of the Earth and is eventually overthrown in the Eugenics Wars. He escapes with 80 other augmented humans in 1996. Star Trek (1967), STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN (1982)
1997 - "Three billion human lives ended on August 29, 1997. The survivors of the nuclear fire called the war Judgement Day. They lived only to face a new nightmare - the war against the machines." TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY (1991)
1997 - The Robinson family blasts off from Earth in the Jupiter 2. Lost In Space (1966)
1997 - New York is walled off from the rest of the country as a maximum security prison, until Air Force One crashes within its boundaries. ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981)
2001 - The Hal 9000 computer onboard the Discovery malfunctions during it's manned mission to Jupiter, killing four astronauts. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1969)
2003 - Policeman Rick Grimes wakes up from a coma to discover a world in the grips of a zombie apocalypse. The Walking Dead (2003)
2009 - Terrorists detonate an EMP, destroying most computers and communications systems and plunging the US back into third world country status. Dark Angel (2000)
2009 - The last child on earth is born. CHILDREN OF MEN (2006)
2010 - A joint Russian/US mission to awaken Hal and find what happened to the Discovery leads to the discovery of a higher intelligence in the universe, and the conversion of gas giant Jupiter into a white dwarf star. 2010: THE YEAR WE MAKE CONTACT (1984)
2011 - A virus wipes out 99% of human population. AEON FLUX (2005)
2012 - A virus turns 99% of human population into Vampires, gas prices hit six dollars a gallon on the east coast. I AM LEGEND (2007)
2012 - Turns out the Mayan calendar was right, this is the way the world ends. 2012
2015 - Marty McFly investigates a future Hill Valley where JAWS 19 debuts in theaters. BACK TO THE FUTURE II (1989)
2053 - The official cease fire and end of hostilities that marked World War III, but left 600 million dead. STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT (1996)
For more fun dates, here's an awesome infographic from SyFy, and another timeline of the future from IGN.
About the Author
Shaun Collins is an international award winning filmmaker, and has 20 years experience behind a video store counter, and thus a unique perspective on movies.