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Category Archives: Popular Culture

What! You haven’t seen it yet?

By now, most of you have seen some or all of this seasons blockbusters.

Probably one of the most anticipated large budget “super hero” films, Wonder Woman, raised the bar for DC Films. I previously reviewed it, and if I were to give it stars, it would be 4.5 out of 5, IMHO.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 came out a month before, and that was probably the preview for how Marvel was going to handle the soon to be released Spiderman – Homecoming. Lots of humor interspersed with a lot of action.

The latest Spiderman with Tom Holland in the role, revealed how we recall the Peter Parker / Spiderman of the ’60’s. Fun mixed in with teenage angst. For me this movie rated a solid 4 out of 5 stars.

Continuing to promote and have some fun with it, Tom Holland gives us a little video insight of his “action packed” role.

2017-07-13 15.41.08

 

The Batman Has Left Us

For those old enough to recall the 1966-68, television series, Batman played by Adam West, it was the last time any of us recall a lighter, more humorous version of Batman & Robin.

When Michael Keaton reprised the role of Batman, sans Robin in the 1980’s, it was a much darker more serious view of the comic book hero.

Gone were the camp, tongue firmly in cheek remarks, as well as the graphical sound effects punches, such as THWACK-BOFF-KAPOW-BONK-ZAP & BAM.

《-Batman Fight Scene Clips-》

As that era of mega-guest stars welcomed to the small screen on a weekly schedule ended, so too has its lead star. Adam West has passed, fighting the last good fight for his life with Lukemia. He was 88 years old.

Adam West Gallery


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 Guest Cameos on the Bat climb (14 in all)

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Posted by on 11/06/2017 in Actors, Comics, Crime Drama, Deaths, Entertainment, Hollywood, Humor, Movies, Popular Culture, Television

 

State of Cinema

Can you recall any picture in the last 3 years that was wildly popular that didn’t include things getting smashed or blown to bits?

Have you gone to a movie or rented one that featured clever or charming dialog, let’s say in the past 24 months?

It’s OK, I can wait for your answer . . .

NO?

la-la-land-poster-small

Click for video

Surprise, I can think of one! La La Land which did – Worldwide: $439,020,154 (£424.7m)

That’s nothing compared to the Faster & the Even More Furious, OK, real title – The Fate of the Furious. Worldwide: $532,481,640 That’s just in the first (opening) weekend. It broke the previous record of $529m (£421.8m) taken in by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

That kind of money gets attention, which means the type of films I might find more interesting, or have longevity, are not likely to be made in the foreseeable future. That’s kind of shame, because the independent films are constantly trying to break into a market that is walled off from the public.

Why is the Fast & Furious franchise so popular?

fate_of_the_furious_opening_box_office

BBC Entertainment & Arts

That’s a question which seems easy to answer, at least on the surface. Some may say it has universal appeal to young & old, because people like to see escape fantasies of things destroyed. The protagonists and antagonists are people over the top, escaping doom or creating disasters on a grand scale with seemingly little consequence.  Have you ever picked up a sledge-hammer to help demolish a car for charity? Imagine 100’s of times greater smash, with none of the work but all of the fun.

There are other reason(s), I believe which increase its appeal. The actors in the film, identify well with an audience. Paul Walker was one of those people who seemed universally liked. Actors, Tyrese Gibson, Nathalie Emmanuel, Vin Diesel and Ludacris, all have large followings. Dwayne Johnson has starred in four of this franchise movies, and he’s brought new energy to it. Still, they’re not adverse to bringing in other major names, and stirring the pot.

Kurt Russel has been a big action adventure star for years. This time he even has a name that most of us can relate to…  Mr. Nobody.

The Fate of the Furious won’t be a movie I will pay to see, but the next film Kurt Russell will be in, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, is going to be at the top of my screening list. If I’m not there opening day, I will be soon thereafter. The last Guardians of the Galaxy anticipated their audience, adding humor to an imaginative story that grabbed a lot of eyes. This one looks to be every bit the right follow on, in one I’m least familiar as a published graphics novel.


 

Resistance is Futile

A young Bela Lugosi photo

Bela Lugosi – Dracula

The OSCARS may be the buzz that Hollywood would like us to focus on, but only momentarily. They really want us to take them seriously. There will be many brows furrowed, scoldings issued, and appeals made.

This means we’re likely going to hear more speeches on, Donald Trump outrage, immigration, civil rights, racismhuman created environmental changes (our shame – not theirs). We may be hoping to see which cinematography, musical score, writers, actors, graphics, scripts, receive awards, but rest assured, that’s not all they have planned for us.

In many ways, they’ve become an interest group concerned with moral causes and how they continue to portray themselves as super citizens.

comedy - dramaThere are changes in the making. I’m not talking about the continuing inflation of egos, rather many ‘stars’ are getting older, their expenses are going up while box office receipts are going down. Their demands for increased salaries may actually set them back.

=-=- Biggest World Wide Box Office Releases Not From Hollywood -=-=

The news for Hollywood, just like American manufacturing, it can be done elsewhere, and often for less cost with greater profits. China & Japan are having a good year for film making and box office revenue.

Joan Fontaine Cary Grant  Suspicion 1940

Joan Fontaine & Cary Grant

La La Land is a one of the movies nominated for awards, but the title and the ending suggests a bit more reality than many might immediately recognize about the traditional film industry.

A couple of last-minute notes… Greg P. Russell had his Oscar nomination rescinded on Saturday, for 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.

Bill Paxton has died from complications from heart surgery. He was 61.

 
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Posted by on 26/02/2017 in Academy Awards, Actors, Attitude, Awards, Box Office, Entertainment, Finance, Hollywood, Movies, Popular Culture

 

The News Isn’t Good…

silver-streakThere’s a lot of communication on the InterWebs today about the passing of Gene Wilder. We lose good people all the time, but this is one that strikes me.

When I think of these movies;

  • The Producers
  • Willy Wonka
  • Young Frankenstein
  • Blazing Saddles
  • Silver Streak
  • Stir Crazy

I smile and think of how entertaining these movies were, because he was in them. His used car salesman face, while saying an outrageously humorous line, combined with his curly wild hair, added to his comedic delivery. When he starred in a Mel Brooks movie, you knew it was going to be memorable. The Producers, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, come to mind.

If you’ve seen any of his 4 movies with Richard Pryor, you watched one of the great movie comedy pairings. Even when there were serious moments, it was movie magic, with them in it.

willy-wonka

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory – Variety Online

For more information, click on this image ->

RIP Jerome Silberman / Gene Wilder
June 11, 1933 – August 29, 2016

 


 
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Posted by on 29/08/2016 in Actors, Comedy, Deaths, Entertainment, Movies, Popular Culture

 

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Silly Things I Think About..

Roswell UFO crash 1947

Roswell UFO crash 1947 (alleged photo)

Star Trek Beyond is no longer beyond, at least not beyond us going to see it in theaters. The franchise, Star Trek, has been with us for over 50 years. Several of the original cast are still on Terra Firma. Sadly, a few of them are no longer with us. If there’s life after this one, then perhaps it can be said, they’re exploring strange new worlds. This one is certainly strange, all on its own.

I’ve thought about Start Trek tech since the series started. I always questioned things like, how can they be seeing things on their large flat screen viewer while traveling faster than the speed of light? Aren’t they outrunning any light reflected images? Does the ship anticipate where it must go to travel around planets, asteroids, suns, and debris? No computer system would be able to communicate to the helm faster than light speed.

There are others, but nothing fascinates me more than their short-range transport systems. It was said the idea for teleportation came about due to severe budget limitations of the original series. In order to arrive on a planet, they would have to create transportation that would look good enough on camera. They came up later with some small transport vehicles, which looked like boxes in space. The Transporter idea was sheer genius and harks back to the days when we as kids, could imagine ourselves transporting once we entered a large cardboard box. I suspect Gene Roddenberry recalled those kinds of child play experiences when he came up with the idea.

This does bring into question other ideas I had on the topic of using a device that could disassemble your molecules including DNA sequences, and successfully re-image them somewhere else. The whole process on the surface, sounds slightly possible, but deconstructing molecules, then assembling them, without being in a vacuum, appears to be fraught with potential disasters, such as seen in the movie, “The Fly“.

Then there’s another aspect, which Roddenberry and company left to our imagination, what about the soul? If there’s an ethereal component to humans, as some assert when they say we have a soul, spirit, anything other than our corporeal presence. If any of that is true, and that’s what really animates us as a person, then how do you teleport something which isn’t supposed to be physically definable?

I know this is all too much about too little, but it’s sort of fun. Now, where can I buy a hand phaser? That seems to be very practical device to carry around. We already have tele-communicators and electronic writing tablets.

———

 
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Posted by on 01/08/2016 in Aliens, Entertainment, Fantasy, Hollywood, Movies, Popular Culture, Science Fiction, Space travel, Technology

 

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No More Bond – Well Maybe?

the word is BondWe’ve heard this before from Daniel Craig. He said he wouldn’t want to do another movie, after his success in portraying, Bond – James – Bond in Skyfall. He came back swinging and blowing things up in Spectre. Now, according to the Daily Mail, he’s turning down a two picture reprise of the role for somewhere in the vicinity of $100 million. That’s a very nice vicinity to be in.

Daniel_Craig_stirred_from_being_shaken

Daniel Craig – Spectre

Daniel Craig may be tired of playing the part, but as good as he is as an actor, it’s difficult to get the roles which allow you continuing success or anywhere near the perks.

He might want to look back to the first Bond, played by Sean Connery. He too was dissatisfied with the roles he was given, even more than playing Bond, and came back to play him one last time in, Never Say Never Again. That unofficial Bond, was a less than stellar outing, it didn’t have near the behind the scenes support or the authorization to use the theme music or opening of the Eon Productions films.

As a reminder, how many went to see the film Cowboys and Aliens with the two big A listers of Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford? How many viewers want their money back?

For some unexplainable reason IGN gave this movie 3.5 stars out of 5. That’ being generous.

idris-elba

Idris Elba

There’s always a flurry of guesses of the next actor, when someone has brought this much success to a movie role. It’s an interesting idea to speculate who might land the role. Idris Elba might be a good choice, if you’ve seen his acting in film and television, especially Luther, the crime drama TV series, you will know he has to be considered.

Tom_Hiddleston_Jaguar_ad_February_2014

Tom Hiddleston – Jaguar Ad

 

 

 

Tom Hiddleston is also under consideration, and for those who have seen him play Loki, in the Thor and Avengers movies, you realize, this is someone with screen presence.

 

 

 

 

So what do you think? Is it time for Daniel Craig to hang up those tuxedo’s or as many may remember, his swim trunks? He’s certainly given a huge boost to ticket sales of a movie franchise more than 50 years old.

Daniel-Craig-Bond-With-Car

Daniel Craig as James Bond with Aston Martin DB5


 
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Posted by on 22/05/2016 in Actors, Box Office, Entertainment, Hollywood, James Bond, Movies, Popular Culture

 
 
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