16 October 2004

Where the FUCK Have You BEEN?!?!



I know. I'm sorry. This will never happen again. I'll never abandon all five of my loyal readers ever again (five?!). I promise.

So where WAS I?

Well, for one, I was watching the Red Sox dig themselves a hole in the ALCS so that the eventual comeback will be that much more exciting. But honestly, after a couple quick wins in Anaheim following a couple days without posting anything, I felt like it couldn't hurt seeing if it was some sort of luck thing to ride out. I did everything the same short of keeping dirty undies on to keep the ALDS mojo rolling. Worked for a while, and then- well fuck, I'm not gonna repeat it. As I've been told- "you don't update the bad news, BMS." True, true. I WILL have a game-by-game recollection of the Red Sox playoff run at the end of our season, whenever it is, so all is not lost. I will also post final outcomes for division/ playoff/ awards races followed by the actual outcomes and some embarassed explanations (the Phillies SHOULD have been good, dammit! I'm not embarassed!)

I love this Red Sox team, I believe in them, and I know they can do it. Maybe it won't, but I'm not jumping off any bandwagons. Who knows though, the intangibles, mystique, aura, Yankee Stadium ghosts and "1918" chants, as well as the C*rse will all be hard things to fend off. All fans of baseball must remember this. Even Harold Reynolds says so.


I'm sorry, Bullshit Memorial doesn't have the intangibles that Dirt Dogs or other blogs bring to the table...



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I recently had a break from work where I read up on all the new info regarding Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. I know there has been no encouraging work in the last two (well, three) Star Wars films to base this on, but I really think this one will be good. I actually think this one has the opportunity to be great, maybe the best Star Wars film of all. This, to me, is the best and most interesting event the whole story has to offer, and (should be) the centerpiece of the entire, ahem, "saga."



More or less, this yarn goes as such: Anakin Skywalker, secretly married to the Queen (...of something- the galaxy?), has knocked her up, with twins (guess who that is?). No one knows this. All the while, Anakin is growing more and more imbalanced. He is drawn to animalistic rage, etc., etc. You get it- he's turning into Darth Vader. We finally see the character from the first trilogy in his origins- the "prequel" notion finally pays off. Ostensibly, the first two prequels were meaningless exposition setting up all the knowing payoffs storywise. We see the epic fight between Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin that Obi Wan wins, burning up Anakin and forcing him into that infinitely more scary suit. We see Anakin given his new name, Darth Vader, and told what it means (that's cool). We see the inception of Chewbacca, we see C3PO and R2D2 become the characters we know, we see Luke and Leia born, we witness the coming-of-age of Boba Fett. Cool stuff.

The more and more I think about it, the first two installments could easily have been summed up nicely in one of the crawls. They only introduced characters and sent them on (largely) pointless travails. I guess the second one set off the Clone Wars (which never appear on fully on film, which I feel was a good idea- they take place in between II and III I believe), and seeing Anakin sort of getting antsy with the "do the right thing" stuff was set up a bit. Hayden Christenson is a better actor than his performance in the second movie. Lucas just brings that out in great actors, though (see: Guiness, Alec; McGregor, Ewan; Neeson, Liam; Portman, Natalie; Jackson, Samuel; Fisher, Carrie for other examples). I think Anthony Daniels is the only person to ever turn in a good Star Wars performance.

From the article I read, lightsaber battles abound, as does the "darkness" quotient, which is in dire need after the Disney-lite fantasy-laden installments of Episodes I and II. Simply put, the only other great installments of the 5 are the first (A New Hope) and the second (the best- Empire Strikes back). Both are great, and have heavy doses of dark, forboding, mythological strains. The allure of Star Wars was never the science fiction- it was the myth, the familial tragedy, the big epic story archs. Not, as George may have you believe, the crazy looking costumes/ makeup, latest film technology, mildly racist voice-overs and fantastical sets. Oh well. They're not my movies.

Simply put, if Lucas doesn't muck this up, this story would be hard pressed to fail. So many great nuggets abound- I've read that it's revealed that the Force will no longer be passed on, and it is up to Luke, Leia and Yoda to stop the Empire. Mace Windu, aka, Sam Jackson's character, also plays a prominent part. I think I'm most excited about the increased lightsaber duels, which have always been my favorite parts of the movies. For my money, maybe the greatest scene in any of the five is the final swordfight between Luke and Vader at the end of Return of the Jedi.

Damn. Just think- we'll see Vader fitted with the suit for the first time, see him transform- that's an incredibly cool new way to look at such a huge and seminal film character. Rarely do you get that chance, and hopefully it will be as satisfying as one could imagine. I really wish Lucas wasn't writing it, and that he'd passed to someone who could.... write.

It was fun reading about the movie, because it got me excited again. This first two of the second trilogy have been so bad, it was nice to be pumped about the series again. I should cut this short before I dig myself too deep a nerd-hole. I just think seeing a character go from good to the personification of evil seems like a pretty badass movie to me. I'm officially excited. Summer, 2005.



Rumors on the trailer have it going something like this, from TheForce.net:

The first half of trailer consists of a familiar voice over with Alec Guinness. Fans will love to hear him speak his monologue to Luke from A New Hope about "Jedi Knights always being the guardians of peace." As we hear these familiar phrases, they've intercut shots from various Star Wars episodes, excluding Episode 3. Only when the monologue ends with "Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force" about 40 seconds into the trailer do we see the face of Anakin. He is partly covered with dark hood, looking positively evil.
This is followed by the shot of erupting volcanoes, then some sort of volcanic field with crab-like creatures and then darkness, all accompanied by Vader breathing. Then the following is heard:

Sidious: "Lord Vader..."

Vader: "Yes?"

Sidious: "Rise."

Then we see Anakin in full Vader gear rising on some sort of operating table to which he is chained. The rising is slow and is intercut with shot of various Star Wars main characters. When the table has fully risen so that Vader is basically standing upright, the meatiest part of trailer begins, with many, many shots from Episode III. Most of them are very, very short - this will be something for freeze-frame fanatics to analyze.

The ones that stuck in my memory:

Dozens of Wookiees on some sort of floating platform.

Padme with signature Leia hairdo.

The Tri-Fighter, aka the precursor to the TIE fighter with three curving wings and guns mounted between each wing. They shoot red lasers.

The ARC Clonefigthter, aka the precursor to X-Wing, with three wings on each side.

A gigantic starship being sprayed by streams of something that looks like dense acid.

The trailer ends with the title "THE SAGA IS COMPLETE - MAY 2005"


Cool.

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The only problem I have with Tony Hawk Underground 2 is that it's the same in the wrong places, and switched up in the wrong places from the first THUG. The method with which you were given missions, etc. is different, and in a bad way, and a lot of the more annoying parts of navigating an area are still in place. All in all though, it's a really fun game any way you slice it, and the fact that my character has a parrot on his shoulder makes it all the cooler, and makes me all the lamer for getting a kick out of it.

Of course, come Tuesday, THUG 2 may be gettin' a little dusty on the shelf.



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Yo! Check this out! One of my all time favorite movies is coming out with a special edition DVD version! I was holding out with my VHS copy for this. Finally. Dr. Strangelove is my favorite comedy film (that and Rushmore) of all time, and I really think it's the greatest American comedy film ever. Sweet, can't wait- lots of extras of Peter Sellers, my all-time favorite actor. Well, he and Bill Murray.



Also, Ed Wood Special Edition FINALLY comes out, after being shipped to stores, pulled off shelves, and rescheduled. I love this movie- probably Tim Burton's last great movie (sorry, Big Fish kinda sucked).

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Finally, here's the entire transcript of Jon Stewart and Tucker Carlson's little tete-a-tete the other night on CNN's "Crossfire." Stewart's right, and I agree with him, but he made it pretty easy to discredit himself with that Kerry interview. Of course, he makes a great point when he says that holding his comedy show to the standards of CNN is ludicrous, but of course that will stop no one from bringing it up if he complains at their lack of integrity. This convolution is, of course, exactly what he's talking about. My favorite line?

STEWART: Now, this is theater. It's obvious. How old are you?

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Thirty-five. STEWART: And you wear a bow tie.


Of course, this line wasn't bad either.

CARLSON: I do think you're more fun on your show. Just my opinion.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: OK, up next, Jon Stewart goes one on one with his fans...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: You know what's interesting, though? You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show.


On air this was said. Heated stuff. Of course, what O'Reilly said was worse, and unfortunately Stewart didn't defend himself on that show for some reason. He derided the Daily Show audience as "stoned slackers" and called the show something like "goofy" or "stupid" or something- real classic O'Reilly dismissive. Stewart just laughed. Whatever. The Daily Show is brilliant writing, like The Onion on TV, but without that funny "DVD Commentaries of the Damned" column. I love that column.



Speaking of O'Reilly...

The Loofa-From-Behind-in-a-Caribbean-Shower-Fantasy-No-Spin-Zone!

What a pathetic, sad, blotchy looking man. Of course, he's being persecuted. Poor guy.



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Here's my article on the upcoming Nirvana boxset up over at Tweedmag.com.

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