Get some popcorn or your favorite computer snacks and kick back and enjoy these trailers of upcoming movies.
An excellent comic book series is Days Missing a creation of Gene Roddenberry and licensed by Archaia. The concept is of an entity known as the “Custodian” and since the beginning of time he has interfered in the history of humankind, shaping it unbeknownst to us by removing our memories of certain epochs. Days gone and not remembered but that have irrevocably changed our history. But these days are about to be remembered. You can find out more at http://www.daysmissing.com/
This is an excellent double disc DVD documentary about the origins of Star Trek and the mind of the man who created it. It’s available at http://www.treknationmovie.com
Jupiter Ascending Review
I was figitting in the back of the theater while watching the Matrix Reloaded. A woman sitting in front of me tried to shush me. I must have been figitting too loudly and disturbing her concentration on what was plainly a cinematic bed-wetting. I was angry that success had ruined what could have been a great sequel to an obviously great beginning in the original Matrix.
The Wachowskis have been given several opportunities to tell their stories on the big screen and the budgets to match their reach. Trouble is the story got left on the coffee table. What is happening in the translation of their ideas to the big screen? They get all the pageantry and fanciness right, but it hasn’t been in service of the story. The fundamental job of a director in a narrative fiction is to tell a compelling story while arguing some thematic idea.
Making a big budget picture is not an easy thing to do. Making a no budget video is not an easy thing to do either. Filmmaking is like going to war. The fog of getting it done can cloud the clearest vision. The logistics are colossal and the pressures monstrous. No one takes on those kinds of difficulties with the intention of making a bad movie. You want your work to turn out great. Sometimes it doesn’t. The creative forces must be focused to a fine point like a laser light. All the wavelengths and frequencies of the art must converge to burn like the brilliance of the sun. This hasn’t been happening lately with the Wachowski films to merit the big budgets and epic stories.
Maybe the Wachowskis need to make smaller pictures where the distraction of all those toys they get to play with won’t cloud their cinematic vision. I’d like to see how they handle a picture with a $20 million dollar budget. They’d have nothing much to do then but tell a great story and let that carry the film. They did it before with Bound, why not make some more of those smaller pictures? Get their story telling chops back and then go for another big concept epic.
You’ve no doubt noticed that I haven’t mentioned the elephant in the room, namely Jupiter Ascending. I tried to watch it 5 times and would wake up at different parts and then try to start over. I had to give up. It did not hold my interest. There was nothing of interest to keep that curious part of my mind active. Jupiter Ascending for me was a kaleidoscope of color and computer graphics trickery not unlike the wallpaper that is a Michael Bay Transformers film.
The fact that after sixteen years the Wachowskis film marketing still has the tag line “From the Creators of The Matrix Trilogy” plastered on the ads tells you how long it’s been since they’ve had a hit as substantial as The Matrix. Four Oscars is great and all, but awards don’t entertain the movie going public. By now their ads shouldn’t have to reference The Matrix. You don’t see Tarrantino movies referencing his past hits. Maybe that’s because he’s had a few hits and his name is enough to get the job done.
So having not really seen the film because I kept slipping into darkness at the “eyelid theater” I can’t recommended Jupiter Ascending except as a cure for insomnia. Maybe you can find something about it to keep your interest. I found it exhausting. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!
Ira Harmon/ Film reviewer for Pop Machine
Star Wars News.
Hans Solo has a skeleton in his closet that has been revealed in Star Wars Number 6, the latest issue of Marvel’s Star Wars Comics. Only this skeleton is covered in flesh and curves, so if you haven’t been to your local comic collector shop and plunked down coin for the latest issue, let me spoil the surprise for you. You could opt not to read any further, but I doubt you can resist now, so here’s the beans…Hans Solo has a wife. Don’t know if he has kids to boot but he does have a wife pictured below.
Disney and Lucasfilm are treating the story events and characters in the comics as canon, so that what happens in the comics doesn’t stay in the comics. The film franchise will synch to what goes on in the comics. This likely means that Hans Solo had a wife while he was wooing Princess Leia in the original film almost 40 years ago. Hans is a raffish rogue, so what’s surprising about his womanizing and omission of a little fact that he has a wife?
It will be interesting to see if Sana Solo pops up in the film version of Star Wars in the near future.
Ira Harmon/Pop Machine Reviewer
Whenever there is a death in the arts, my heart hangs low. Recently it was reported that Louis “Thunderthumbs” Johnson of The Brothers Johnson, (where he and his brother George put the funk in our faces), has gone to that great gig in the sky. He was one of the bass players of the late 70’s and throughout the 80’s that kept us wiggling and giggling in delightful reverie on dance floors and behind the wheels of our cars; on radio, 8-track players and cassettes and beyond. He will be sorely missed. I remember seeing his brother George in concert at Chicago’s Africa Festival maybe three summers ago, and wondering where Louis was. I figured he was off on another gig or something. The reason for his passing hasn’t been disclosed, but in the scheme of things how important is that when the loss of his talent is the issue. So here is a video of him teaching his method and approach to playing the bass. It runs nearly an hour so whether you play the instrument or not it is educational and enlightening to see Louis tutor and reveal to us how he made his thundering contribution to the soundtrack of the 70’s and 80’s.