Not many arcade players noticed, but in December of 1984, the sound of video games changed for the better, forever.
I certainly noticed. I pumped quarter after quarter into that Marble Madness machine, not just because I enjoyed the (admittedly very challenging) game, but because I had to hear that music, one more time. Continue reading →
So. As an adult, you have a problem with a movie that you loved as a child. I see on social media that this is a common grievance. I don’t need to name a film. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of motion pictures that don’t stand up to the intense scrutiny and overthinking of 2017.
It’s not them. It’s you. You are the problem.
I’ll begin with a contemporary example: any current superhero movie. Marvel, DC, independent degeneracy like Deadpool and Kick-Ass; it’s all the same. Permit me to make another assumption- you got all worked-up over seeing the latest hero flick, and you left the theater three hours later feeling empty and disappointed, without knowing why.
For your benefit, I will begin this article with a warning: 18 seconds of this movie consist of Shia LeBeouf swinging from vines with CGI monkeys.I know 18 seconds doesn’t seem like a long time, but apparently it’s an eternity for some people. It all depends on your perspective, or lack thereof.
The sequence is so brief, it was hard to screencap.
In 2008, Harrison Ford returned to the screen as globe-trotting archaeologist Henry “Indiana” Jones, Junior after a 19-year absence. I myself have been (to be kind) fanatical about Indy since Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, so before I saw Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I knew several things.
I have a confession to make. Though I consider myself quite the erudite film scholar, in many ways I have no cause to place myself above the average lumpen moviegoer.
I confuse the name ZaSu Pitts with Zuzu Petals, a minor character from the execrable Andrew Dice Clay comedy The Adventures of Ford Fairlane.
I am inexplicably incensed at the sight of the cover of the film Metropia, and Audrey Tautou’s picture on the front of Amélie. To date, I have not seen Amélie, even though it’s from a director I like, thanks to its coy, nauseatingly precious cover shot.
I haven’t seen Precious, except on YouTube, because apparently I laugh at the wrong things.
I can’t stand whispering in movies any more than I can in the theater. A notable exception would be 1982’s Poltergeist. M. Night Shyamalan has abused whispering so much his actors should be forced to use air horns.
I’ve never seen Avatar. Any movie that uses a default computer font for its title isn’t worth a billion dollar budget, let alone my attention. Continue reading →
Lao Che (1885-19??) was a Chinese crime lord, who made several attempts on the life of archaeologist Indiana Jones in the 1930s.
Lao Che (c.), with sons Chen (l., Chua Kah Joo) and Kao Kan (r., Ric Young)
Lao’s nightclub, the Club Obi-Wan, was a front, and the headquarters of his criminal empire. The Manchurian government hired Lao to secure an urn holding the cremains of the first Manchu emperor, which had been stolen by thieves in 1903. Jones brought the urn to Club Obi-Wan, trading it with Lao for a huge diamond, but Lao double-crossed Jones by poisoning his drink. Thus begins a thrilling action sequence as pandemonium and balloons overtake the club, while Jones flails to recover the antidote Lao had taunted him with. Continue reading →
Forrestal (?-1936) was a competitor of the archaeologist Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr. (1899- ). He was good. He was very, very good.
On June 12, 1981, Raiders of the Lost Ark was released in theaters. It was rated “PG”, which stood for “Parental Guidance”. The basic idea behind this MPAA rating was that parents should be ready to provide guidance for any offspring that might be negatively affected by the film. When things get too “scary”, it’s time for a parent or guardian to step in and say “it’s only a movie.” Which it is. It can in no way physically or mentally hurt you, and anyone who tells you differently is an escaped lunatic. Continue reading →
I am officially breaking from the Star Wars franchise, in all regards. Being that I am maintaining a fantasy fiction franchise of my own, Ceaseless Fables of Beyonding, I cannot continue to absorb the intellectual properties of other creators, for fear of possibly regurgitating them. Respectfully, I will not be seeing any upcoming Star Wars films, and will in fact be avoiding them for this reason. I wish the cast and crew, present and future, well. I’m sure the new episodes will be heralded as everything the fans have always wished for, and will gross billions of dollars. Please in turn respect my decision to distance myself from this franchise. Thank you for your understanding. “May the Force be with you.”
I used to call myself a horror-movie buff in the 1990s, so I’ve heard all the grievances about “scream queens” and “final girls”. And, you know, those complaints worked; now every female protagonist in movies is an unstoppable “badass”. I saw the recent space drama Gravity, and I was mystified why so many people disliked it. Then I looked into the details; modern audiences rejected a Sandra Bullock who freaks out and cries when things go sour. Never mind that it’s part of a character arc; females must always be steely and in control.
Well, like so many aspects of modern film, that’s boring. Another victim of political correctness in movies is the Girl Who Can Scream. The scolds among us will suggest that men get a perverse satisfaction out of seeing women in jeopardy, but that’s only the perverts. For the rest of us, it’s a human fire alarm, when it’s done right. It signals that things are really, really bad. They even used to put it in the trailers.