Thursday, December 28, 2017

Prequels SW > Disney SW

I cant believe I am writing this. I have no choice. I didnt think it was possible.  I found the prequels to be an incredible disappointment, but now that I can reflect back on the prequels versus what Disney has created, I think the prequels are better. Why? Here's an example why. From what is considered one of the worst SW movies, comes a scene which no Disney-hack could ever write:

When I saw this scene in AOTC, I wanted to cry with joy. It's perfect. IT IS EXACTLY what Star Wars is about. It is exactly what George Lucas was trying to show us. Lucas was creating a morality all of us could follow. This is what made Star Wars so special. SW is deeper than typical sci-fi. It's deeper than just about anything ever put on the big screen. Lucas is helping to explain why we even exist.

Lucas is explaining why Jedi behave the way they behave. He is perhaps explaining how we all should behave. Is he correct? Maybe not, but dang, at least he is trying. At least he is giving SW depth and meaning. In The Last Jedi, Luke didnt come anywhere close to explaining this kind of stuff to Rey, and Luke certainly knew the morality of the jedi.

Attachment is forbidden...why? Because attachment leads to fear of losing something. We know how the rest goes...fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering. Attachment is the path to ruin. The path to the dark side. Possession is merely attachment to a physical entity. Disney is incapable of writing this kind of depth; of understanding morality and humanity is at the core of Star Wars. I want to cry, and it certainly isnt out of joy.


Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Last Jedi is awful.

Spoilers abound.  You have been warned...

On December 14th, 2017...mark it down...Disney ruined Star Wars. The stuff that takes place in The Last Jedi (TLJ) has literally rendered the first-six Star Wars movies meaningless. Disney is wandering in the woods with the new SW movies.

Lucas wrote awful dialog and directed awful acting for the prequels, but at least the plot and story of the prequels felt like Star Wars. Lucas kept his universe together, and stayed true to his characters. The Force Awakens (TFA) and especially TLJ dont feel like Star Wars movies. Disney has either killed or rendered moot all the OT characters. TFA and TLJ are just trash space-opera flicks. Neither are SW films.

Lucas was creating a mythology: Disney threw that out the window. 

Lucas gave us a morality play of light vs dark and why each existed: Disney simply doesnt want to bother with that kind of depth. 

Lucas made characters which would last generations. Is there a SW character Disney has created which anyone will remember 50 years from now?

Disney creates so much hype, and and has so much clout in the the industry, that their SW films suffer from a "honeymoon effect." Critics dont want to give the Disney SW films a bad review, for fear of suffering the wrath of the Disney juggernaut (and if you dont believe Disney will take revenge against the media, ask the LA Times earlier this year how Disney treats those who attack the Mouse.)  Fans who see the movie before it opens wont admit to themselves that the Disney SW films stink, because these fans are emotionally and financially invested in Disney's SW admit the Disney SW films stink right after you view one is to admit you have committed an error devoting yourself to these films. Everyone has an ego.

An example to help prove my point: TFA was at 93% on Rotten Tomatoes a few days after it opened (which is where TLJ currently sits.  Hmmm.  Makes you wonder if that is a coincidence...) Most fans enjoyed TFA. Six month after TFA opened, fans began admitting to themselves and others that TFA is not a great movie.  Critics began admitting to the faults of TFA. A year from now, we will know how the culture truly feels about TLJ, and it wont be a positive vibe. My guess is TLJ will be seen as the worst of the Disney films, and about the same quality as Attack of the Clones, which is bad. Real bad.  TFA is at 88% approval with people who have actually seen the movie.  TLJ?  55% approval with movie-goers.  Yikes.  Certainly not what Disney was hoping for.  Repeat box office business for TLJ shall suffer.  Bad word of mouth has already effected the Saturday and Sunday BO take for TLJ.

What Disney and Rian Johnson did to Luke Skywalker is unforgivable.  I get angrier and angrier the more I think about how Luke's potential was not only wasted, but ruined the legacy of arguably the greatest movie hero in cinematic history.  George Lucas has to be livid.  A few days ago, when Lucas finished watching TLJ, he said to a reporter TLJ was "beautifully filmed" and walked away.  A backhanded compliment if there ever was one.

Luke was pro-active.  Luke faced his fears and his demons.  Lucas clearly wanted Luke to be a hero.  So what does Disney do with Luke?   He stays on a freakin' island the whole film, and even when we thinks he leaves the island, its just a mirage.  Then Luke commits suicide alone on the island.  Unreal.  If you dont feel betrayed by Disney after watching episode 8, then you dont truly understand Star Wars.  I cant find a way any true SW fan could accept this film.  It's honestly beyond me.

Disney will keep making bad SW films as long as we keep giving Disney our hard-earned cash. Send Disney a message.  Dont see TLJ, or if you have already seen it, dont see it again. Encourage others to not waste their money seeing TLJ.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

We meet again, at last...Star Wars 7 news!

Finally, some solid news on Star Wars, Episode 7:

So, what characters are these new actors playing?  My speculation could be way, way off, but I am going to give my two cents anyhow:

John Boyega: Luke Skywalker's apprentice, and the co-lead of the younger actors.
Daisy Ridley: The daughter of Solo and Leia.  the other co-lead of the younger actors.
Adam Driver: The young baddie.  Either a Sith or dark jedi.  He will be around for all three movies.
Oscar Isaac: A new republic officer or a rogue-ish type scoundrel who tries to sweep Daisy off her feet.
Andy Serkis: The comedic alien.  Not childish like Jar Jar.  All CGI.
Domhnall Gleeson:  The spitting image of an SS-officer.  He will be a young, cunning Imperial officer who is around for all three movies.  A Thrawn-like character, but definitely not Thrawn.
Max Von Sydow: An old, wise, Imperial officer who survived the Battle of Endor and wants revenge against the New Republic.  He finds Driver and re-gathers the imperial fleet.  I suspect Sydow dies at the end of SW7 in the same way Cushing died in episode 4.  Sydow is 85 years old.  You do not cast an 85 year old man to appear in a new trilogy.

Prediction #1: Either Hamill or Ford dies in SW7, at hands of Driver.  I think it's more likely to be Ford than Hamill.  I think Ford has the biggest part of the three original cast members in SW7, so his death at the hands of Driver will really make movie-goers hate Driver, which is what Disney really wants, and needs.

Prediction #2: The plot of the three new movies will have two main stories.  The first follows Boyega, the second follows Ridley, much in the same way the plots of the original series follow Luke and Han/Leia.

Prediction #3:  No twins, which I would not have predicted a year ago. I dont see any possible twins in this cast.  It doesnt fit.  Clearly Ridley would have to be one of the twins, so who is the other?  There is no other in this cast list.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The shelf-life of an applauding spiral galaxy

- The shelf-life of certain foods.  Most slightly longer than the shelf-life of a typical Zynga Facebook game:

- New drug being developed from the same chemical in red-wine, may allow people to live to 150.  Faster please!  I need a drug like this to hit the market in the next 20 years.  I wouldn't mind being age 60 (I am currently 41) for a long, long time.  Everything I do at my current age I can also do at age 60:

- Why do human beings applaud?

- Is nothing something?

- Wonderful website which cleverly shows the scale of everything in the universe.  From the smallest pieces of an atom, to the largest galaxies:

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Will Anne Hathaway sing Daisy on Oscar night?

- My 2013 Academy Award predictions:
Best picture: Argo
Best Director: Spielberg.  Weak director list this year.  Spielberg wins it because, well, it's Spielberg.
Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence
Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones.  Toughest category to predict this year.  Also the category with the most talent.
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway.  Lock of the night.

- Why the HAL 9000 sang Daisy towards the end of the movie 2001:

- When did Americans lose their British accents?  It's the opposite way around.  Until the 1800s, the British sounded like Americans:

- Best and worst countries to be born in.  Normally, if America wasn't at the top of such a list, I would argue America should be at the top of the list.  Not any more. America's crushing debt and relentless spending addiction probably no longer makes it presently the best place to be born:

- Why making robots is so damn difficult:

- Why New York City drops a giant, shiny sphere every New Years Eve:

- Solutions to the top ten kitchen annoyances:

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ironic Ulfberht exits on the right

- Google says driver-less cars are coming in the next five years.  That's five years too late. Now! Now! Now!

- Use a lightly-colored mouse pad to conserve the batteries in your mouse.  Makes sense, from a physics point of view:

- 32 of the greatest unscripted movie scenes:

- The 50 most dangerous cities in the world:

- Ulfberht swords.  I had never heard of them until I watched this documentary on PBS.  The Ulfberht sword was forged by only the very best viking blacksmiths over 1000 years ago.  The Ulfberht sword was the vorpal weapon of it's time:

- Number of enrolled university students falls for the first time since 1996.  Expect to see this trend continue:

How to tell if a highway exit will be on the left side of the highway, or the right side.  I had no idea!

- Hat-tip to my brother for the following article.  Detroit has it's very own monster-mystery.  The Nain Rouge:

- Fantastic article on how we live in the age of irony, and why that is a bad thing:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Median age of the driverless interstate

- Secrets of the Ford Mustang:

- Median age by state.  If I lived in Maine, Vermont, West Virginia, New Hampshire and Florida, roughly over half the people I meet would be older than me:

- Let's stick with demographics.  Think America's demographics are rapidly changing?  Take a look at the problems facing China:

- Warren Buffett is a table-tennis fan, and he puts his money into one of America's rising table tennis stars:

- Pick a place on earth, and see the exact opposite side of the globe.  Hint: most of the time, you will be in the middle of an ocean:

- Driverless cars approved (kind of) in Nevada:

- Most popular months for birthdays:

- The Fortune 500 top companies:

- U.S. Interstates as a subway map:

Monday, April 30, 2012

Alan Stoob finds Sith war criminals at Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Price

- Red-heads experience pain differently than others:

- Alan Stoob, Britain's premier Nazi-hunter.  Hilarious website.  Good stuff:

- New York City Jedi training academy.  If this group was more about teaching the life-lessons and morality of the Jedi, instead of teaching nerdy kids how to swing a stick, I would be all for it.  Otherwise, it seems kind of creepy:

- Woman considers voluntarily having her withered arm removed, and replaced with a bionic limb.  Will see more and more of this dilemma in the future:

- Global time-zone map.  Insanely useful:

- Curry's triangle paradox:

- Countries that drive on the left-side of the road.  Basically, most countries that were a part of the British empire once automobiles were invented:

- Mad Men critique by someone who walked the walk:

- Middle-age is an evolutionary trait:

Alone together.  Technology makes it uber-easy to communicate with each other, yet we are more alone than ever.  Great read:

- Republicans more informed, more open-minded than Democrats.  Every Republican I have ever met inherently knows this.  It's nice to see a scientific survey prove it:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

- I almost didn't post my 2012 Oscar picks.  Tough to motivate myself this year.  We are well into the 21st century, yet a black and white, silent movie is going to win most of the major awards.  My picks:

Best Picture: The Artist
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin.  Clooney won a few years ago for Syriana.  The academy prefers actors who stretch, and play difficult roles.  Clooney is simply playing himself in The Descendants.
Best Actress:  Viola Davis.  Last night over dinner, the son of a friend of mine explained to all of us that the Academy award voters are mostly old white guys.  This is correct, however the voting academy is still one of the most politically-correct entities on the planet.  Davis wins.
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer.  Plummer for best supporting actor, and The Artist for best picture, are the two locks of the night.
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer.  See Best Actress

This cat at the NY Times seems to have a good feel for who will win the 2012 Academy awards:

- For car buyers, it's tougher to end up with a lemon:

- "Who was the best pilot I ever saw?"

- Soprano's was one of the best TV series ever created.  I was certainly hooked on it.  It created a whole new genre and style of television, but was that a good thing?,69596/

- 20 common grammar mistakes:

- Why do astronauts crave spicy foods?

Friday, February 17, 2012

John Tyler and Lewis Carroll prefer Jedi Shadows over Hunters

"Why is a raven like a writing desk?"

- Having a grand time playing Star Wars, The Old Republic.  Plenty of people have asked me to compare The Old Republic to World of Warcraft.  Here is what I say to them: if you have never played an online game, and want to start one, I would recommend Warcraft over Star Wars. If you have never played an online game, and you are a Star Wars junkie, I would recommend Star Wars over Warcraft.  The story of how SWTOR got created:

- Former president John Tyler (1841-1845) has living grandchildren.  How is that possible?

- The most popular sports in America:

- Detroit's infamous purple gang:

- Why is Scotland Yard named "Scotland Yard?"  The Yard is located in London:

- The last World War I veteran passed away:

The average life-span has nearly doubled in the past 100 years, but the maximum age attainable has been rather static.  Why is that?

- There are billions of stars in the typical galaxy, and there are hundreds of billions of galaxies in the universe.  Let that sink in for a bit.  In our Milky Way galaxy, there is likely at least one planet for each star:

- Stubborn body myths: