1979: Alien

alien_poster_by_nuke_vizardRounding out the 70’s is a movie that is highly praised, highly popular, but until a couple years ago I had not seen.

When I started working at Amazing Stories, I felt I had all the knowledge I needed (or wanted) to work there. My blood ran Marvel and DC, I had a major in Star Trek with a minor in Star Wars, I could tell you who the Ninja Turtles were, and the Transformers, Ghostbusters, so on and so forth. I didn’t know Dr. Who or manga (and I was okay with it). But their were a few big properties that I had not been too familiar with, and when a customer would find out I usually got a “you work here and you don’t know THAT!” or a “and what have you been doing with your life” type comment. So one summer I picked the four franchises I felt I most needed to learn about and exposed myself to them. They were all good, all dark, and I had a great summer of movies because of them. Robocop, Predator, (both of which came out in 1987 and I’ve got a fantastic Chris Fischer commission coming for that year), Terminator and what I’ll be talking about here, Ridley Scott’s Alien.

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1979: Mad Max

imageOne of this years biggest movies has definitely been Mad Max: Fury Road. I have yet to see it and I don’t know if I will, at least any time
soon. All I can seem to get out of it is that Max is still mad, and that everyone is driving around mad and that the best part is when they have some drummer up on a parade float rocking out. It just doesn’t intrigue me. I’m sure I’ll see it and love it, but I’m going to need more motivation.

Before its release I kept on hearing about how good the originals were, specifically Mad Max: Road Warrior, the second in the series. So I watched the first one, but nothing about it told me I need to keep going. There are plenty of things that it’s going for it, that I thought would be great, but didn’t seem to deliver. It’s Mel Gibson who is great in movies like Lethal Weapon. It’s a revenge film, which I thought would add a rawness to it, and it’s supposed to be post apocalyptic which usually adds some sort of fear element to it.

imageThese things did not deliver. Gibson was a fairly flat character, who wasn’t really given a chance to show off his acting chops. There were attempts at making him deep and building on the relationship he had with his family, but it felt forced. The post apocalyptic Australian outback that it’s supposed to be set in seemed more like a place where the cops didn’t really know how to do they’re job and things got out of hand. There was a lack of regular residents, but it was mostly set in the outback, there was no destruction or ruin to imply an apocalypse of sorts. And the revenge aspect of the film could have been achieved in a third of the time it took to get to, and I felt like a lot of my time was wasted setting up simply for a final showdown. Also, I’ve seen this story, it’s the Punishers origin, and it’s not original. Had this been the first 30 minutes of a Punisher film I would have pretty happy, but it wasn’t, it was a full length feature and I found it to be not worth its praise.

There were some good parts, when Max and his family are hiding out on their family farm, the Grandma is puts up a good stand against the thugs who kill his family and I thought that that was cool. I also enjoyed watching him try to quit his job as a police officer and his boss not having any of it. But that was about it. There may have been more, but I actually watched this movie a month or so ago and I’m just writing about it now. Had I written this immediately more may come to mind.

Now this may be one of those things that at first I don’t appreciate, but when I go back and take in again seems brilliant to me. That’s what happened when I read Watchmen and watched The Office and listened to Radiohead. It may for this as well, and I have heard the second one is the one that knocks it out of the park, but for now, watching this one has not been enough to entice to me to keep going. And I’m ok with that.

Thanks for reading. Maybe you can give me some reasons to keep watching, or can give me a different perspective. Let me know in the comments section.

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1892/1979: The Time Machine and Morlock Nights

The_Time_Machine_MainIn 1892 a book was published by H. G. Welles entitled The Time Machine. It became the inspiration for many other books, films, tv shows, comics and radio programs dealing with time travel, whether, directly and indirectly. It has been redone in movies, comics, and tv many times itself. In 1979 a book called Morlock Nights was published. Some give it recognition as the first steampunk novel, an offshoot of the word “Cyberpunk” as, 8 years later, in a letter to Locus Magazine, K. W. Jeter, the author, dubbed the book “Steampunk” and thus coined the term. Steampunk is a genre which I know next to nothing about. All I know is that is popular among the Cosplay crowd, and it usually involves men and women adventuring in Victorian era London or the American Frontier with gadgets a little ahead of their time.

Morlock Nights is written as a direct sequel to H. G. Welles classic. Being both a fan and a completist, I took this as an opportunity to reread The Time Machine before going on to read Morlock Nights. For anyone unfamiliar with Welles story, it is told from the point of view of a dinner guest as he listens to his unnamed hosts tales of an adventure into the future. Continue reading

2004: Battlestar Galactica – Part 2

imageWell kids, here’s the reboot. I watched the 2004 3 hour miniseries that retooled the show that got to explore many of the ideas that, due to its cancellation after one season, the original was not. Everything kind of lines up for me watching this show. A – it’s summer and I need a new show to watch with at least a couple of seasons worth of marathon viewing, B – It’s in my timeline for the blog (ok, so I got a little ahead of myself with Ant-Man, wanna fight about it?) and C) Commander Adama is played by Edward James Olmos, who has recently been announced as a media guest for the Saskatoon Comic and Entertainment Expo which I volunteer at.

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1978: Battlestar Galactica – Part 1

battlestarclassicI watched the first 3 episodes of Glen A. Larson’s 1979 series, a task I have putting off since I bought the entire series of it and Galactica 1980 for 4.99 each on iTunes, probably 2 years ago. I only put it off because I have problems committing to an entire seasons of shows, especially if they aren’t currently relevant. I know I’ve probably seen most of it already. I used to watch it, probably out of order, as a child, when Space would play reruns. I don’t remember much though, just who the Cylons were and that Apollo and Starbucks were the Luke and Han, respectively, of the show. Continue reading

1954/1957/2015: What I watched before I watched Ant-Man (No Spoilers)

Ant-Man+MovieI just got back from watching Ant-Man. I don’t want to get huge into the movie, but I will say a few things at the end of this post. I’m mostly here to talk about a couple of movies I watched before it. I was reading another blog, Longbox Graveyard, who also read Tales to Astonish 27 and 35. They referenced some potential cinematic influences on those issues, so I decided to check them out. I had seen other shrinking and size movies, such as Land of Giants and The Fantastic Voyage, but never these. Continue reading

1962/1979/2015: Grab your magnifying glasses, we’re looking at Ant-Man!

video-undefined-2478005700000578-711_636x358I told myself this movie was going to suck. I told myself this movie was going to be the one I might not see opening day. I told myself not to get excited about this movie.


I AM excited. I AM going opening night. I even panicked that there might not be a Thursday showing. And now I’m counting down the hours till I see it. It looks as if it’s not going to suck. But who knows, I did the same thing to myself right before The Man of Steel.

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