lazypadawan: (Default)
I watched the season premiere of "TerraNova" last night, a pricey show with Frieda Pinto, she of "Slumdog Millionaire" fame. The premiere seemed to be a pop culture pastiche, with elements of "Blade Runner" (or AOTC for that matter), "Avatar," "Lost," CW teen dramas, and most especially "Jurassic Park."

The effects were pretty good and I've seen far duller shows than this one. But one thing gets me.

If you could live some time in the past, WHY WOULD YOU LIVE AMONG BIG DINOSAURS THAT COULD EAT YOU?!
lazypadawan: (Default)

This is from NBC's pilot for a new Wonder Woman t.v. series, unfortunately brought to be you by David E. Kelley (sigh), starring Adrienne Palicki.

The show might be good or it might suck, so I'll just critique the look here. It tries to bridge the classic look for Wonder Woman and the horrid new getup they have for her in the comics. But I'm not feeling the shiny leatherette pants; why are they necessary? Does NBC's censors have a problem with bare legs? Palicki fits what Hollywood thinks is fit, but she just looks thin, not athletic. By comparison, Lucy Lawless's Xena really did look like an Amazon warrior.

What truly annoys me is they (to use's words) "de-emphasized patriotism", or more accurately, took the the American out of the costume. Gone is the red-white-and-blue scheme and there aren't any stars but the red stars on her headband and her bustier. Apparently NBC wants to make sure this plays in Beijing instead of Peoria.

There seems to be a run on movies and t.v. shows taking American icons and symbols and diluting or even eliminating their American character with the excuse that it wouldn't otherwise work in the international market. Superman was for "truth, justice, and all of that stuff" in Bryan Singer's boring 2006 film "Superman Returns." Everyman soldier G.I. Joe became some vague internationalist quasi-military organization called G.I. JOE based out of Belgium. BELGIUM?? The upcoming Captain America movie is going to be called something else in the foreign market and the people making the film promise no flag-waving whatsoever that might offend some America hater's sensibilities.

To those who think people in Korea or Botswana won't see a movie or show with some blatant American stuff in it, I say, "Bull puckey." People have been fascinated with the Texas oil barons of "Dallas," the California beaches of "Baywatch," and the New York City of "Seinfeld" and "Sex And The City" for decades. The Sam Raimi Spider Man flicks didn't shy away from the waving flag and those movies were big international hits. Audiences aren't stupid. They know what they're getting when they tune into an American-made show or movie, just as I know what I'm getting when I watch a Chinese sword flick or a British-made series.

Here's the t.v. Wonder Woman I grew up with:

Update: [ profile] knight_ander just posted that apparently Lynda Carter approves.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Sandra Lee hosts "Semi Homemade," a Food Network show that features over-the-top decor, bizarre "recipes" from thrown-together ingredients, and cocktails. LOTS of cocktails.

It's too late to ruin for any of her Hanukkah ideas, but Christmas and Kwanzaa are still just around the corner!

Do you love to drink? Well, Sandra has a Christmas tree just for you lushes:

Barware as Christmas decorations! Gee, not even Martha Stewart has ever thought of that! I hear that originally Sandra wanted to put an angel holding a cosmo on top of the tree, but the producers thought that was in bad taste.

Now watch as Lee concocts this delicious Kwanzaa cake made entirely from, as one YouTube wag put it, ingredients you can buy at the gas station:

I love how Lee won't use the name Corn Nuts. ROTFL!
lazypadawan: (Default)
Former TAPS ghost hunter Brian is a big SW fan (he's especially a Vader fan) but another star of the series "Ghost Hunter" loves the saga as well. Amy Bruni briefly chats with Ashley Eckstein at DragonCon. Check out her shirt, heh heh:

Fun Stuff

May. 29th, 2010 07:13 am
lazypadawan: (LJvacation)
First off, it is Memorial Day weekend, so take a little time in appreciation of those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

I won't be posting much the next couple of days, so I'll leave you with a video [ profile] darth_pipes referred to me. You'll get a kick out of it if you've seen the "Lost" finale:

And here are some new icons I made recently. Feel free to pilfer:

lazypadawan: (tesbhan&leia)
Apparently Papa George sent the cast and crew of "Lost" a letter congratulating them on the end of the series. Some fanboy blogs are making hay out of jokey comment Lucas made about not having the whole thing planned out in advance, but come on...I didn't think he had it all planned out in advance either. It's fans who think he said he did, but then decided he was worse than Pol Pot for not admitting he didn't.

Producer Damon Lindelof said, "I just want to apologize to Mr. George Lucas for everything I said about the prequels.” Uh huh. Just goes to show you who in this picture has a lot more class. Don't worry, Mr. Lindelof, your turn is coming. You won't please these losers forever.

Meanwhile, the original Leigh Brackett draft of the TESB screenplay has been making the rounds. I'd link to it but the server it's on is overloaded. It's unclear whether this coincidentally bubbled up from the ether or whether this is from the upcoming "The Making of The Empire Strikes Back." But you can read over the highlights posted here:

Some of it is stuff that got recycled in other movies, some of it stayed, and some of it was mercifully jettisoned in future drafts. Like the "tender love scene" with Luke and Leia o_0. The White Clan warriors sound like "Avatar" characters but they also seem a bit like proto-Kaminoans, at least in appearance. And Darth Vader has pet gargoyles! Just from that rundown, I'm glad the final version played up Leia falling in love with Han and played down the love triangle bit. It just made Leia look bad (why would she suddenly throw herself at Han after getting cozy with Luke?) and having Luke decide he doesn't love her the same way by the film's end would have made everyone question his orientation. Brackett apparently did not know Vader and Luke's father were one and the same, maybe because Lucas hadn't decided yet to merge the two characters. I know that was definitely the case with "Luke's sister" and Leia, because early drafts of ROTJ have them as separate characters.

I kind of agree with the Geeks of Doom post in that there are ideas in there that could be used in the expanded universe; the ideas could also make for great fan fiction fodder. *Rubs hands.*
lazypadawan: (hands)
NBC has finally snuffed "Heroes," joining "Legend of the Seeker," "FlashForward," "Scrubs," the original "Law and Order," and a bunch of other crappy shows you'd never heard of in this year's mass grave of cancellation.

Rumors of the show's imminent demise persisted for months and the season finale left things open. Supposedly there may be t.v. movie or miniseries to wrap up the story. We'll see if it actually happens. Reports that a loud, "Yahoooo!" coming from the home of Zachary "Sylar" Quinto are unconfirmed.

Seriously though, now that he's free from the show's contract he can focus on parlaying his higher profile thanks to Star Trek into a film career. As [ profile] darth_pipes told me, Greg Grunberg will have a job as long as JJ Adams can cast him in something. But most of the rest of the cast can enjoy their ride into obscurity.

So, no more Hall H presentations at Comic Con. Ah well.

The show was really good during Season One but it was as though they didn't know what to do with the show afterwards. I thought originally that once the characters recognized what their powers were, they would be able to go out and do heroic things, like foil terrorists or stop meteors from smashing into Chicago. Instead it became this big and dense mythology that just wasn't as well-written as another show with a big and dense mythology, "Lost." Most of the characters on "Lost" were far more compelling. Hiro was a guy to cheer for at first but he just became an idiot. Mohinder was supposed to be a genius, but he kept doing dumb stuff. Claire became annoying and that stupid faux lesbian crap with her roomie Gretchen just reeked of desperation. I came to hate all of the Petrellis. The only intriguing characters were Claire's dad and Sylar. The show kept adding all of these characters and they contributed very little. I kept watching mostly out of habit but I haven't really enjoyed the show in years. I'd read or surf the net while it was on in the background.
lazypadawan: (Default)
I didn't watch the Oscars. Why? The Academy Awards show is reliably long, boring, and smug. It looks like expanding the Best Picture category to include popular films (only one missing was "Transformers 2: Revenge Of The Fallen"), nominating popular actors, bringing in celebrities popular with young people, the drama over whether a woman will finally win an Oscar for directing (over her ex-husband), and the stars more or less behaving themselves paid off in the ratings.

But it was still a 3.5-hour show, 90% of which is filler. I don't have any patience for that stuff, especially if I'm not really emotionally-invested in who wins. I hate the business with people coming out to gush about the awesomeness of the nominated actors. That's so stupid. The interpretive dances? Barf. You can always catch the gowns before the show or during Joan Rivers' post-mortem. During the show everybody is sitting down.

In case you're wondering why "Avatar" didn't win Best Picture, I'll tell you. "The Hurt Locker" had the momentum; usually the BAFTAs and SAGs are better indicators of which will win than the Golden Globules. Maybe Nikki Finke was right about everyone in Hollywood hating James Cameron, but there were other factors. I haven't seen "Avatar," but based on what I've heard/read, it impressed mostly on a technical level and that's not good enough to win much more beyond the usual technical awards. Cameron already had his box office 'n trophy victory lap with "Titanic," where he gave perhaps the most memorably douchey acceptance speech in Academy Awards history. Moreover, the Oscar voting occurred when Hollywood was in the grip of "Titanic" mania. If you remember 1998 well, as I do, all everyone talked about was Leo, Leo, Leo and Celine Dion was on the frickin' radio 100 times a day for months. "Avatar" was a victim of how blockbuster movies make their money these days...insanely fast (there's also the boring breakdown of how many tickets it actually sold, especially when you consider that many 3D and IMAX screens charged a lot more than regular ticket prices for this flick, and inflation, but you don't care). The mania, such as it was for this day and age, was over in the blink of an eye. Then there was having "District 9" compete in the Best Picture category. Genre fans love "District 9." Since people tend to compare similar genres, it's a certainty that "District 9" siphoned votes from "Avatar," just as I'm sure "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind" siphoned votes from ANH. Finally, Oscar voters never shy from the opportunity to "make history," this time by giving the first Oscar to a female director. But it wouldn't be fair to say Katheryn Bigelow won only because she's a woman. Bigelow was a sorely underrated talent who paid her dues over two decades. I liked "The Hurt Locker" overall.

But if you ask me, I would have gone with "Up" for Best Picture.
lazypadawan: (Default)
I watched with interest this morning a rerun of last night's episode of What Not To Wear. This episode's subject is a professional witch/psychic who resides in Salem, MA. The woman's 39 years old and her wardrobe consisted of goth/witch wear and basically pajamas. Family members have banned her from gatherings and the PTA moms weren't too crazy about her.

One of the things with people who are in a subculture is that some of them have a hard time figuring out when to turn it down or turn it off. The corsets and velvet cloaks are fine for ceremonies, witch fests, and Halloween events but not your non-pagan cousin's baby shower. PTA moms may not be terribly understanding of your inverted goat pentagram t-shirt paired with skull-covered pj pants. That's just how it is.

But in the past, one of the criticisms I've had with WNTW is that everybody in spite of age, lifestyle, race, body shape, and height ends up being styled almost the same way. Sometimes that person's individuality disappeared in the makeover process. Stacy and Clinton aren't exactly understanding about people who dress a certain way on occasion because of a "different" way of life. They were ready to deep six all of the witch's dark wear and it looks like it probably took a lot of negotiation off-camera for them to understand some of those garments are necessary for her rituals.

Still, it worked out really well for the witch, who could still be herself without the cliched outfits or goth wear that was too young on her. Sometimes you just don't need a big flashing neon sign that says, "Yo, look at me! I'M DIFFERENT!!"
lazypadawan: (hands)
People have predicted the demise of "Heroes" since last spring when there was doubt there would even be a fourth season. There is a fourth season but at the end of October, a fresh round of rumors about the series' end cropped up. According to rumor, NBC has already told the show's producers to wrap it up so the show could end in May 2010. In other words, "Like hell we're renewing. You're lucky we don't pull the plug now."

Well, it looks like things have gone from bad to way worse. According to this article, "Heroes" pulled in lower ratings Monday night than a show that has already been cancelled! Ruh-roh.

NBC could let it run its course and end it in May as planned but move it to Saturday nights at nine to minimize ratings damage since it's the lowest rated time period on t.v. period. It's like a hospice ward for dying t.v. shows. That way NBC can put a midseason replacement in that slot. Or it could banish "Heroes" to an affiliate like Sy-Fy (I spit every time I have to write that) to run out the rest of the season. We'll just have to see.
lazypadawan: (Default)
I don't have any tattoos and have no desire to mark myself up. Yet, I've found L.A. Ink and Miami Ink quite entertaining. I love Kat Von D's line for Sephora. So I tuned into the second or third show of the new season last night and was dismayed. WTH happened? Kim Saigh and Hannah Atchinson are gone and now there's a tribe of goofballs populating the program. I know every one of those "reality" shows are contrived, and L.A. Ink was no exception. For one thing, there never seemed to be anyone there besides the show's stars. Kim and Hannah were shipped in from Chicago just for filming. Corey has his own shop elsewhere in Southern California. What were the chances some celebrity was going to casually stroll in right when Kat had a free moment? But this is so contrived now not even a five-year-old could miss it. The irony is it looks like they're trying harder to make it appear like a working tattoo shop. For the first time you see lots of customers and the so-called B-team (the tattoo artists who work full time at High Voltage Tattoo, the real name of the shop, but aren't featured on the show) working away in the background. But the rest of it just seems fake, fake, fake. Who does Kat's goofy brother hire on his own to work as a receptionist? Why, it's Aubrey from VH-1's "Rock of Love!" I guess New York was too busy. (I only know this because of Twitter.) When Kat decides to bring in a fledgling artist on a trial basis, the cameras conveniently happen to be there when the artist gets the call. The artist, named Amy, turns out to be another goofball whose work is good enough but isn't on par with the stuff Kim or Hannah created on the show. I may not be a tattoo girl, but half the fun of the show is seeing the work these artists create. And boy would I be upset if I signed up to get a tattoo on the show and I find out they set me up with a noob nobody thinks is good enough! I wouldn't want anybody besides Corey or Kat coming near me, even if it's just a smiley face. To me, bringing in Aubrey and Amy is a set up to create "tension," so Kat would blow up like Gordon Ramsey. Hey, why not bring in the artist who did Hayden Panettiere's misspelled tattoo? Or the guy from Belgium who did the constellation on that girl's face? Wouldn't that be "rad?"

In other news, I hear that Mischa Barton is in the psych ward. Yikes.
lazypadawan: (Default)
The Britain's Got Talent finale airs tomorrow, which brings it down to the wire for internet singing sensation Susan Boyle. Unfortunately there are reports that the pressure is getting to Boyle, which is understandable. Here's a homely woman with a remarkable voice but has lived a humble, obscure existence with her kitties until her astonishing first performance went viral. Overnight she became an international superstar. Her semi-final performance of "Memory" was great but I could tell at first she sounded nervous. A professional would have a hard time going from 0 to 70 on the fame scale, but it has to be extremely difficult for a regular person who never sought the spotlight until now and likely never expected the response that she got. Then begins the pressure to prove you're the real deal, not a flash in the pan, and for someone like Boyle, whose life has had many obstacles, all of that psychological crap to prove you're good enough gets magnified a thousand-fold. She's probably in mortal fear of what the backlash is going to be like, especially if she doesn't win.

So, I wish her lots of luck. While we're on the topic of people having freakouts on television, wtf is up with the whole Jon + Kate Make 8 thing? I've only caught bits and pieces of the show in the past, but all of the tabloid drama about their marriage going into the dumper drew record ratings for the show on Memorial Day (no, I didn't watch the train wreck). You don't have to be Dr. Phil to figure out that the show, not the stress of eight kids, nuked their marriage. It started out as a show that was more like a documentary, showing the work it takes to corral a family of 10. But the product placements started appearing, Kate went Hollywood, while Jon decided he'd like to relive his bar-hopping days in front of the paparazzi. If it was just Jon 'n Kate, you can just shrug it off as a couple of narcissistic adults who decided famewhoring was way more important than saving their marriage. But there are eight kids involved, none of which asked for any of this nonsense. They're going to be the ones to suffer the damage in the end. If they had better parents, they would've pulled the plug on the show and get to work saving their family. But why do that now? After all, they're going to need the money to pay for divorce lawyers and therapists for all eight of those kids.

Update: Just heard that Boyle came in 2nd and the winners were a dance crew called "Diversity." Was this the dance crew that did a SW thing last week?

Oh well, maybe Boyle and Adam Lambert can go on tour together.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Without giving away any spoilers for those of you who haven't watched "Lost" yet, let me just say this:

I hate you, show! I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!!!!!!!1!!!!!

There, that's better.

I haven't posted much on AI this season but while I figured Adam was a shoo-in for the finals a long time back, I have mixed feelings about Kris being the other final-ee because I really liked Danny. But Kris brought out the big guns the second half of the show on Tuesday and having gone after Danny, it paid off. Plus the girlies think he's cute. It's ironic given that Simon teased Kris early on in the competition for being a young married guy.

Most of the oddsmakers will probably favor Adam to win. He is a well-trained singer and the judges have slobbered over him almost the entire competition. But Kris has been an unexpected dark horse the entire time, defying predictions. He's much more low-key than Adam, but Adam is the sort of guy who inspires a strong opinion one way or another. You either really like him or he annoys you. The annoyed will likely favor Kris. If Kris pulls a performance like his cover of "Heartless" and Adam goes all artsy-schmartsy (or as Simon would say, "indulgent"), that could be an in for Kris to pull the biggest upset in the show's history.
lazypadawan: (sw_romance_slideshow)
Believe it or not, the first 'ship I ever fell for was NOT a SW one. Before there was Anakin and Padmé, before there was Han and Leia, there was...Derek and Nova.

*Cue up the Endless Love theme.*

"Who the @#$@ are you talking about?" you might wonder. They were the OTP of the animated space opera series Star Blazers, a Japanese import that was shown on American t.v. 1979-1980. When I saw ANH, I was only 7 years old and I couldn't have cared less about 'ships. Like most of humanity, I fully expected Luke to get together with Leia and conclude the first trilogy with their nuptuals. End of story.

But all of that changed when I got hooked on Star Blazers sometime in 1979. Star Blazers was shown on a local independent station at 6:00 a.m. Monday through Friday. I was so hardcore that I cheerfully got up early, so I could watch the half-hour show before getting ready to go to school. Who ever heard of a kid willing to get up early for anything? But my brother and I sure did for about a year. What could you do? You had to be rich to afford a VCR/Betamax in 1979 and there was no TiVo, no DVR, and no YouTube/Hulu in those days.

While the action and adventure were the main draws of the show for me, and I did kind of like the villain Desslok (I have a soft spot for tragic villains, I suppose), I found myself being drawn in by the romance between crew members Derek Wildstar and Nova Forrester. I'm not really sure why. What I recall most about their romance is they kept gazing at each other and calling out each other's names. Of course they were always in mortal danger, so that might be why. Derek had a cool do that wouldn't look out of place on today's surfer boys, while Nova was a tall, skinny redhead with big eyes and really long eyelashes. In their shippy moments, they would do things like stand on the deck of the Argo and look at the stars. It wouldn't be a real OTP though if not for the angst and boy is there ever. For example, when Nova seemingly sacrifices her life to save everybody, Derek yells, "Please God save her." I believe Derek also has a near-death experience that causes Nova to have her own angsty freakout.

Oh yeah, Star Blazers was hardcore stuff for an alleged kids' cartoon. That's because it wasn't, as is the case with most anime and proto-anime. Before there were neck-cracking bounty hunters and shish kebab deaths by lightsaber on CW, there was violence and sexual innuendo galore. Nova occasionally lost or tore her clothes, though the naughty bits were edited out for U.S. t.v.. Come to think of it, maybe THAT was the reason why my brother was eager to watch the show too.

Since only the first two cycles of the series aired on U.S. television, I lost track of Derek and Nova. The second cycle seemed ready to marry them off and I assumed they rode off into the spiraling galaxy together. Spring 1980 unleashed TESB and Han/Leia became my OTP To Rule Them All. So I never wrote fifth grade Derek/Nova mush.

I haven't watched Star Blazers in ages. While I'm aware there's a lot more to the series that never aired on U.S. television but is available on DVD, I haven't seen any of the later episodes or movies. Apparently it took a while for Derek and Nova to tie the knot. According to a Star Blazers fan site, here's what happens in the final 1983 movie that ties up the entire series:

The StarForce returns to Earth. Days later, Wildstar and Nova are married on the beach, and the StarForce crew comes out to witness their ceremony. Then the background scenery fades... as do their clothes. If you are watching the original, unedited version of thie movie, Derek and Nova then have animated sex to the tune of "Luv Shupreme" for about three minutes, with Nova crying at every other toss and turn.

We never saw any of THAT in SW but it does sound like something a fangirl would come up with.

Here's the happy couple:

Here's a sappy tribute video (warning: the same footage is repeated over and over):

Here's the bow chicka wow wow wedding scene/sex scene:

Dave Filoni, I triple dog dare you to put an Anakin/Padmé scene like that in CW! Bwahahaha...
lazypadawan: (hands)
It was reported today that Ricardo Montalban, who played Khan on Star Trek and the mysterious Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island, has passed away at age 88. While Trek fans know him best as Khan, yours truly will always remember him in his white suit urging, "Smiles, everyone, smiles!" as the new batch of visitors to Fantasy Island disembarked from the seaplane. It wasn't a real Saturday night without The Love Boat and Fantasy Island, which were once aired back to back. (Give me a break, I was 8 years old.) The other thing that sticks out in my mind about Montalban is his car commercials in the 1980s when he went on about that luxurious "Corinthian leather." There was much more to Montalban's long career than that but for a whole generation of t.v. viewers, he was the guy who hung out with the little fella whose catch phrase was, "De plane, de plane!"

Fandom has lost another t.v. cult favorite today, Patrick McGoohan, perhaps best known for starring as Number Six on the 1960s British drama The Prisoner. Admittedly, it's an odd show...think of it as James Bond meets Lost in an eccentric English-style village...but it remains an influence on high-concept t.v. even to this day (see: Lost).
lazypadawan: (Default)

Hard to believe it has been that long since the world was introduced to the leg lamp, the triple dog dare, and "you'll shoot your eye out" but the now-classic film A Christmas Story was released 25 years ago (November 18, 1983 to be exact). In that time, it has joined the ranks of Miracle On 34th Street and It's A Wonderful Life as yearly must-watch Christmas movie classics (and it is one of my all-time favorites).

Directed by the late Bob Clark and based on the short stories of Jean Shepherd, it wasn't a big hit at the box office. In fact, I kind of remember it appearing then disappearing from the multiplexes without making much of a splash. But the movie took off on cable and built a cult following over the years. Now there's a Canadian documentary Road Trip For Ralphie, a museum in Cleveland at the house used for exterior filming, loads of merchandise, and an annual tradition of showing the film 24 hours straight on TBS. (That begins 8 p.m. tonight EST.)

Why has this movie become a holiday chestnut? For one thing, it's funny, even after you've seen it a dozen times. It's relentless in its political incorrectness; there's nobody in Hollywood today who would have the stones to film a scene like the one at the Chinese restaurant. No one would even think of making a movie about a kid who basically wants a gun for Christmas. But I believe more than anything else, it's real. Who doesn't remember wanting something really bad for a present? I recall all of my lobbying efforts as a youngster ;). Who doesn't remember the class bully or the dare that goes horribly wrong? Who hasn't been forced to wear or do something embarrassing to please a relative? Who hasn't received a tacky gift? Ralphie's family is neither picture perfect nor the sort of cartoonish, uber-dysfunctional family frequently portrayed in today's Christmas movies. At its core, A Christmas Story is a warm, nostalgic tribute to Middle American family life, quirks and all.
lazypadawan: (Default)


It's no secret that Heroes has been struggling this year. The one-time network savior has seen its ratings nose-dive almost as fast as the Dow Jones in its third season, which was supposed to be the big turnaround point after a disappointing second season was cut short by the writers strike.

NBC has taken note of Heroes' performance, and it made some necessary moves this weekend. The network has fired co-executive producers Jeph Loeb and Jesse Alexander over creative differences, according to Variety. The pair was known to run the day-to-day operations of Heroes under the eye of series creator Tim Kring.

Heroes is currently in its third season and has seen its share of negative press from critics who are calling the drama bloated with too many characters and storylines, silly, and smug. Budget issues are also reportedly surfacing, with each episode costing NBC an estimated four million dollars apiece.

Here's a recent interview with the now-unemployed Jesse Alexander:

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