lazypadawan: (Default)
Awright, I sat through the premiere episode on 8/14. It is kind of what I thought it would be, the geek/nerd version of “Hoarders” or “Hoarding: Buried Alive” only without the sail rats, cockroaches, feral cats, and threats of condemnation if the place isn’t cleaned up in 24 hours.

As I’ve said before, hoarding is an extreme version of OCD. It is a mental illness. Nobody on the premiere episode of the show was nowhere near as bad as anyone I’ve seen on the hoarding shows. Fair enough. But there were a lot of things about the show that still rubbed me the wrong way.

The first episode featured Parker Publicity maven Consetta Parker and her husband with a house filled with Star Wars collectibles, then a guy in SoCal with a garage full of Catwoman stuff. In real life, Parker is the publicist for Rancho Obi-Wan, James Arnold Taylor, and Catherine Taber. Apparently she doesn’t mind taking her work home with her because her jaw-dropping, impressive collection literally fills every room of her house. There’s some talk about how there’s no more room and Consetta has to let some things go. I’m sure millions of Star Wars collectors were shouting at the t.v., “What about storage?! Why not get a bigger house???!!” Okay, so they live in NorCal and a bigger house often means you’d better have George Lucas’s bank account. But I didn’t hear if they have anything in storage or not, which might be a solution to clear some stuff out.

The other collector has a bitchy, angry wife who didn’t know he collected until it was too late and claims they don’t have money for their mortgage, so he has to sell his crap now.

It is true that some collectors get in over their heads financially. It is true that some collectors’ passion for stuff quickly overtakes the reality of how much space they have in their home. It is true that some collectors do a far better job of acquiring goodies than taking care of them and organizing them. The guy with the Catwoman and ‘70s toy collection seems to fall into that category. Heck, I have problems with that.

But the show seems to generalize unfairly and treats the collector as someone with a Problem. For instance, the Catwoman guy admitted to the show’s hostess that he didn’t tell his wife he collected prior to their marriage. The narrator then says that hiding a collection meant that it was an obsession. No, the guy actually gave his reason for not telling his wife…he was afraid she’d think he was uncool. A lot of people worry their hobbies might be a little left of center for others to understand, especially when it comes to things like comics, sf/f, etc.. Now this guy made a mistake by dating someone who obviously doesn’t share that interest and doesn’t seem at all receptive to it. Maybe he just felt like this was his only chance to land an attractive young woman. Or maybe the Mrs. was right and this guy is spending them into the poorhouse (she says they were four grand in the hole). Do they work? Are there other financial issues? I don’t think we got that info.

Consetta’s collection, as large as it was, was at least neat and orderly. She had a lot of really good stuff. Over her shoulder in several shots I saw a signed ROTS poster with several cast signatures…I could see Ewan McGregor’s signature, Hayden Christensen’s, etc.. The hostess twisted poor teary-eyed Consetta’s arm to ditch some loose vintage Ewok action figures, a lifesized General Rex statue, and other stuff. I didn’t catch everything that got sold since I went to bed before the show ended. But the hostess told Parker that Rex wasn’t “iconic” enough so she should part with him. Hey lady, she works with the Clone Wars peeps! Hellooo! And in 20 years, those 7-8 year olds watching Clone Wars now will look at Rex as iconic. Ugh. Where they had the auction to lighten Consetta’s load…Rancho Obi-Wan! And who now has possession of Captain Rex? Steve Sansweet! This was like going to a 12-step program run by Keith Richards, Charlie Sheen, and Courtney Love! LOL! Oh well, in case Consetta happens to be reading this, if you ever want to clear out that signed ROTS poster, call me…

Seriously though what disturbed me was that the collectors didn't seem to be happy. At least the people on "Hoarders" are happy once their homes are clean and they're able to live normally again. I think it's one thing if a collector realizes he's got to edit down his collection and is happy once things are manageable for him again. But I got the feeling people weren't entirely convinced.

Another issue I had was the hostess breaking down the value of the collection not in terms of what it means to the collector but in terms of potential monetary value. When you collect you have no idea if your stuff is going to be worth big bucks in the future or not and money should never be the reason to get into it. You should do it because you love it. And then these folks are forced to hand it over to dealers paying pennies on the dollar, so they'll resell it to a future "Collection Intervention" collector for a huge profit.

Geez, if my parents thought my Star Wars haul was worth $150,000, I'd have to hire a food taster...
lazypadawan: (Default)
This year's VW commercial? Cute (dogs can't lose with me) but I agree with Darth Vader...the little kid ad last year was better.

I was thrilled to see they did run an ad for TPM 3D. I was beginning to worry Fox would cheap out and not take advantage of 175 million pairs of eyeballs to promote the flick.
lazypadawan: (Default)
I managed to catch the LEGO Cartoon Network special "The Padawan Menace" between one showing on Friday and one on Saturday.

As you might expect, the show was overflowing with teh cute. There were two different arcs: one with a bunch younglings led around the galaxy by Artoo and Threepio (voiced by Anthony Daniels, natch), one with a smart alec youngling named Ian who is on a ship with Yoda (voiced by CW's Tom Kane). They managed to visit plenty of locales from all of the Star Wars movies. If you've seen other LEGO Star Wars animated shorts, this is just as preciously funny, only with a lot more dialogue. The biggest win was an ongoing gag with Darth Vader and a LEGO George Lucas (they really need to make that figure), complete with white hair, a beard, and his trademark checked shirt.

The reveal at the end is one big fat fanservice-o-rama, but it's LEGO so it annoyed me for only a second.

The special is going to be released in September on Blu-Ray and DVD.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Since I seldom bother watching G4, except for "Cheaters," I missed Papa George's appearance on "Attack of the Show." The point was to promote Star Tours and chat a little about turning the saga into 3D, but the live action show came up and shockingly, Papa George had some info!

http://www.theforce.net/latestnews/story/George_Lucas_Talks_SW_LiveAction_Series_138409.asp

Does this mean there's 50 hours of filmed footage? If so, is it all visual effects? 50 hours' worth of test shots? Or is there 50 hours' worth of scripts? It sounds like they have something in the can ("it looks like Star Wars") but do they even have a cast yet? It does sound like they are still trying to figure out how to make the show cheap enough for television without sacrificing quality. Attempting to discern Lucas-ese is a challenge. Let's face it, he's a pretty obtuse guy sometimes. But it's the most he's said about the show in years.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Because I’m old and had to work the next day, I just couldn’t bring myself to stay up until 12:30 a.m. to watch Robot Chicken Star Wars III. So I recorded it on the trusty DVR and watched it last night.

I just know that the narrative with “Teenage Wasteland” in the background came from some movie or other, but I can’t think of what it is. The gas station scene with the Wampa was really funny and I can't think of the reference either. I do however recognize other Gen X-er pop culture references, like the Ferris Bueller thing when Obi-Wan and Luke are getting air time out of the sandcrawler or the Dukes of Hazzard reference with the flying sandcrawlers paused in the air.

Maybe it’s me, but this one seemed to be the grossest and most vulgar of the bunch. At times I was wondering how or why Lucasfilm, which used to be so hardcore about protecting its characters and the overall family friendliness of the Star Wars universe, let RC get away with a lot of this stuff. Geez, these were the guys who once put the smackdown on a fanzine because of a fairly mild hetero sex scene in somebody’s story. Not to say that none of the raunchy humor produced laughs. My favorite sketch was Padmé’s big tease on Anakin during the fireplace scene from AOTC, with Padmé stripping down, doing yoga, moaning, swinging around a stripper pole, etc. while Anakin looks like he’s about to explode. It works because it is an extreme extrapolation of what actually happened in the film. But some of it was beyond merely politically incorrect and moves into the downright offensive column, i.e. some of the racially-tinged jokes.

And maybe it’s me, but there were more “hehs” than actually belly laughs. I also thought it was a little strange Leia hardly appeared in this episode. Oh well.

But there were some genuinely funny parts and lines. I actually thought the special commercial for Star Wars Unleashed II was one of the better sketches! I also enjoyed the arc with poor Yarael Poof, Vader getting his new suit, Vader wondering why nobody says “wizard” anymore, the first 65 orders number, and the Prune Face guy. The “are you an angel” exchange was funny too but I draw the line at the nose picking bit. Ewww. Then there was Palpatine calling Jar Jar on his way down the shaft to try and make amends. Hee hee!

Ahmed Best, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, and Tom Kane—Clone Wars Yoda—reprised their respective roles in this episode, while Zac Efron of all people voiced Anakin, and I guess Rachael Leigh Cook voiced many of the female roles.

On that note, I'm hearing that the Family Guy ROTJ parody doesn't treat the movie all that well. *Eyeroll.*
lazypadawan: (Default)
Since it's on so late--11:30 p.m.--and I believe it runs an hour, I'll have to DVR the show. But the third and final Robot Chicken Star Wars special airs tonight on Cartoon Network! I've liked the previous two, so I hope for some good laughs with this one.
lazypadawan: (Default)
A new ILM documentary narrated by Tom Cruise will air soon on movie cable channel Encore. The doc is meant to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the legendary visual effects house:

http://www.comingsoon.net/news/tvnews.php?id=69818
lazypadawan: (Default)
Seth Green found a few minutes out of that annual travesty known as the MTV Movie Awards to tell a little bit about the new SW comedy show. Here are the Earth-shattering revelations:

1. It will be CG animation a la Clone Wars

2. It will NOT take place post-ROTJ
lazypadawan: (Default)
I have returned to the internets after 9 days of being a Luddite. I'd been out of the country for a relative's wedding. To be honest, while I took a long time yesterday to catch up with everything, I didn't miss it very much when I was away.

I did watch last Friday's Clone Wars last night and will post a review sometime this week.

Other thoughts:

1. Saw the tees they're offering for pre-order for Celebration V. Putting items up for pre-order is a good idea but I'm not really excited by the designs so far (as you can tell, I'm much more psyched for the Her Universe stuff). The Han and Leia tees are cute if you are part of a couple and can convince your significant other to wear the other shirt but if you're a H/L shipper who's unattached, you are SOL. Lame.

2. Glad to see the cheerful Jay Laga'aia back to emcee the convention. I guess nobody who was in TESB wanted to bother *snerk.*

3. Rumors went wild about a post-ROTJ third animated show based on some comments Steve Sansweet made at the C2E2 convention last weekend. Club Jade is saying not so fast. I have no idea what to think; it's likely a misunderstanding and somebody is mixing things up with the comedy show.

4. There were more rumblings about the SW Blu-Ray set, which seem to be on the way in the next couple of years. SW Examiner figures it will be launched around the same time as the live action show, which he estimates will be in October 2011. Then fanboys can start the drumbeat for 3D Blu-Rays.
lazypadawan: (Default)
What can I say, I'm a busy gal.

Anyway, the DVD offers more skits not shown during the original broadcast so I was interested to see what those were like. I think my favorites are the "Little Orphan Ani" skits and the "Certain Point Of View" musical number. In the former, Anakin brings Shmi's body back to the Lars homestead, and Owen Lars whispers something to Beru, making the both of them laugh. Padmé asks what's going on, Beru whispers to her, and Padmé laughs. Anakin asks what everyone's laughing about and Owen says, "We were just joking about how you're now Little Orphan Ani." Anakin is understandably upset. Years later, when the stormtroopers are about to incinerate Owen and Beru, Owen says to the stormies, "Tell Lord Vader the Little Orphan Ani joke is still funny!" Then after he jokes with Beru they were always a hot couple, she says, "You were always an a-hole, Owen." The latter skit features the blue ghosts of Obi-Wan and Yoda singing about how they've always lied and hid the truth from Luke. Of course, there is also more Ackbar and more Boba Fett. The poor Ewoks are incinerated at the end by flaming wreckage from the Death Star.

I haven't watched the other features yet.
lazypadawan: (desire)
I watched AOTC on Spike this evening and it brings back the gooey summer days of 2002. Boy, it sure was nice having all of that time on the Metro to crank out A/P fic or finding "inspiration" by visiting places like Ellicott City, MD. Looking back on the type of stuff I wrote then as I post it all on FanFiction.net, it wasn't as hopelessly mushy as I feared ;). I always wrote that stuff bearing in mind that somehow, someway it was bound to come to a tragic end and even so, not every moment of their time together was full of angst and dark foreboding. There had to have been moments of great happiness and joy, and a lot of of my 2002-2003 A/P fic reflected the giddier moments seen in AOTC.

After the recent Metro train wreck, I got a message from someone on the old A/P Defenders thread on TFN I hadn't heard from in ages. The person didn't know I'd moved cross-country since then but after reassuring the person I was a safe 2500 miles from the carnage, I was inspired to look at the old A/P Defenders posts from summer 2002. Then I realized how much I really miss the great discussions that took place. It felt like at times I was actually learning something. What makes it even more painful now is how uninspiring a lot of SW discussion online has become. Twitter is nice for finding out something fast--it's how I found out Michael Jackson had died--but the format just doesn't allow for anything more. Most message boards are full of the same stupid crud. Metas are a dying artform even on formats like LiveJournal.

*Sigh.*
lazypadawan: (Default)
For those of you who love catching SW on t.v., Spike will be airing a SW flick 6 p.m. every night through July 4. It kicks off tonight with TPM.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Hey, remember that live action t.v. series? The last we heard of it, they were starting to write episodes at the end of 2007, an activity I'm sure was interrupted by the WGA strike. Then all of the focus was on Clone Wars.

At a junket for some new Nicholas Cage movie, Rose "Dormé" Byrne spilled the beans about the casting. Since the show is going to shoot in Australia, an awful lot of Aussie actors would be auditioning, and since the Aussie acting community is rather small, Byrne would definitely know what's going on. She is not trying out for the show but she says many of her friends are.

It's good to hear that it's going forward. Maybe this means by summer we'll know at least a few people who will be aboard for the show!
lazypadawan: (Default)
When Family Guy got big ratings for its ANH spoof in 2007, I joked that the show's producers have just hit upon a way to keep the show on the air another five years as they spoof the rest of the SW films. They've already completed a TESB spoof "Something, Something, Something Dark Side" that has yet to air and already they're working on a ROTJ one, supposedly called "Episode IV: The Great Muppet Caper." No word on when it will be completed and aired. At this point, they'll probably have spoofs of Clone Wars and The Force Unleashed done before any of them air :P.
lazypadawan: (Default)
VanityFair.com has posted a long article about The Star Wars Holiday Special. Unsurprisingly it tries to dump some of the blame on Lucas for coming up with a plot it apparently finds lame, though I think the show's biggest problems were its overextended length and the ill-conceived variety show style. Interviews with a lot of the (surviving) main players as well as producer Gary Kurtz are included. Actually, there are some interesting--dare I say juicy--tidbits I'd never heard or read before. They really had to pressure Harrison Ford to participate in the first place and one of the actors (Kurtz couldn't remember which one) asked him, "How did we get into this mess?" Surprisingly, Carrie REALLY wanted to sing on the show! Kurtz says she wanted to be Joni Mitchell but she got the schmaltzy Life Day Song instead. Although I'm not sure if Joni Mitchellesque dirges would have been any better ;). Read the whole thing here:

http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/2008/12/star_wars_special200812?currentPage=1
lazypadawan: (Default)
I've been catching bits and pieces of TPM, AOTC, and ROTS broadcasting on Spike this week. My digital cable service recently added Spike HD, so I've been able to watch those bits and pieces of the PT in glorious high definition. O.M.G. THIS is the way God and George Lucas intended these movies to be seen, short of 3-D that is. It definitely helps that AOTC and ROTS were shot in HD in the first place. ROTS is STUNNING. You can make out every frickin' detail on every frickin' thing. And I mean everything, even little bitty witty visual effects thingies in the background. I noticed stuff I had never noticed before even after watching the film at least 20 times. For instance, there's a smudge of lipstick on Padmé's chin during the scene when Anakin sees her after killing the younglings. Was that her lipstick or Anakin's? Heh heh. I have to say, both Anakin and Padmé have great skin. I am so jealous. Yoda's skin is not only wrinkly, it's also mottled.

That's it, they have to put these movies out on Blu-Ray.
lazypadawan: (Default)
A quick review that I hope some of you will see before LJ pulls the plug Tuesday morning…

I thought Sunday night's Robot Chicken was even funnier than the first one. There seemed to be a lot more skits too. Many of them involved bounty hunters, especially Boba Fett. It was definitely more raunchier than the first installment; I was starting to think the one-fingered salute was becoming a running gag. But I liked there was a wider variety of SW covered, in a sick and twisted way of course.

It's hard to pinpoint a favorite. The skits that made me laugh the most were the "Gecko" commercial with Jar Jar as the celebrity interpreter, the Father-and-Son sequence (especially when Luke and Vader are in a dance off against Boba and Jango), the Imperial officers discussing why the Empire had fallen post-ROTJ, and Anakin "going to his happy place" in a field full of sunflowers as he tries to psyche himself to kill the poor younglings. The TESB dinner scene was the only one that ran a little long for me.

Overall, though, it was funny (and totally inapprorpiate for young fans). They need to do a third one! And maybe they can work in some Clone Wars humor.
lazypadawan: (kissintwins)
Today marks another SW anniversary: 30 years ago, CBS broadcast for the first and last time The Star Wars Holiday Special. On November 17, 1978 millions of SW-crazed kids like me parked in front of the t.v., eager to see our fave characters in new adventures for FREE. Can't miss, right?

What we witnessed remains one of the more dubious moments in SW history. For years I joked that Trek fans have to live with "Spock's Brain" and Star Trek V while we had to live with Bea Arthur. The show was a great idea on paper and extraordinarily enough, managed to draw in all of the main players to participate. Lucas was brought on as executive producer and even the likes of Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston lent their talents to the show's production. SW mania was still in high gear in 1978 and Lucasfilm looked at the special as an opportunity to keep interest going as work started on TESB. Here was where they decided to introduce Boba Fett to a national audience for the first time.

Where did it all go wrong? I was nine years old when I sat through this thing and even I could figure out that they used clips from ANH and that many of the sets looked cheap. The cockpit of the Falcon was so dark it looked like Han and Chewie were in a closet. Poor Mark Hamill wore more makeup than Carrie Fisher did. The celebrity musical numbers seemed out of place to me, even then. The clincher though was the uber-embarrassing ending. When Leia started singing a song to the SW Main Theme, I literally fell on the floor laughing. I liked the cartoon though.

For years, I thought I was the only one who watched the show or at least the only one who would admit to it. It wasn't until 10 years later that one of my friends in college remembered the show too. With a revival of interest in SW in the 1990s, bootleg video dealers started selling pirated copies of the show. You see, Lucas hated it so much, he not only removed his name from the credits, to this day, he refuses to officially release the show on DVD. So having no other recourse, I bought a pirated VHS from a guy at a comic book/trading card show in 1993. Having not seen the show since its 1978 broadcast, I was amazed at how much I still remembered. I was also amazed at how utterly bad it was. The slow Wookiee sequences went on and on, without any translation of their conversations. The sets were indeed very cheap and Hamill was indeed caked over with makeup, presumably to cover up his still-healing scars. The variety show was to the 1970s what reality shows are to 2000s television. Everybody who was anybody had one: Sonny and Cher, Shields and Yarnell, The Carpenters, Mary Tyler Moore, Donny and Marie, even The Brady Bunch. The geniuses behind the show somehow decided to shoehorn SW into the variety show format, which explains the parade of musical guests like Diahann Carroll, Bea Arthur, and a Grace Slick-less Jefferson Starship. The main actors seemed uncomfortable, and for good reason. Each one of them suffers a humiliating moment during the show. For Hamill, it's the makeup. For Harrison Ford, it's the sappy part where Han Solo tells Chewie's clan in a choked-up voice they're all "like family" to him. For Carrie Fisher, it's the silly song. (Although now Fisher seems to find it all amusing. She asked for a copy of the Holiday Special as part of her deal to do the OT DVD commentary and will perform part of the song for audiences at conventions.) For a while there was a rumor that the OT3 were so ashamed to be in the show, they performed drunk or high the entire time. There's been nothing to prove this rumor.

The Fett cartoon held up pretty well though.

The Holiday Special was doomed by the simple fact that most of the people in charge of Hollywood at that time had no idea what SW was about. This was something new. I think if Lucasfilm produced the show itself without any outside interference, it would have turned out very differently. But it wasn't possible I suppose, so Lucasfilm had to trust the t.v. people.

Here's the Wikipedia entry on the show:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star_Wars_Holiday_Special

Plus, here's the classic showstopping number featuring Princess Leia and a lot of Wookiees in choir gowns:



Update: starwars.com is running a series of articles all week about the show. Check out some interesting interviews with some of the people involved.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Robot Chicken Episode II airs tonight at 11:30 p.m. on Cartoon Network. More Palpatine, more Ackbar, and more laughs!
lazypadawan: (Default)
Tune into Cartoon Network's Adult Swim at 11:30 p.m. on November 16 for the second installment of Robot Chicken's tribute to SW. TFN has some preview clips and interviews with the show's creators for all to see:

http://www.theforce.net/latestnews/story/Robot_Chicken_Star_Wars_Episode_II_Clips_118978.asp

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