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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Tedious remakes

I don't usually find myself agreeing with third world Marxists who natter on about "neo-imperialist fantasies of power and domination", but I have to admit, the man isn't entirely wrong when he points out how taking a fictional work out of its historical milieu often means sacrificing part of its heart and soul:
Shorn of their historical context, sequels and remakes today seem no more than rebranding exercises in an age of socioeconomic crisis, widespread uncertainty and creative stasis. Unlike most novelists, those refurbishing James Bond or Philip Marlowe can count on a ready-made store of readerly understanding and good will. As they do with the numerous renderings of the Ramayana and Mahabharata in India and Indonesia, audiences respond to familiarity spiced with the right measure of novelty and strangeness. Such tickling of the mass unconscious can be remunerative too: Unfocused nostalgia has a powerful lure in postindustrial cultures that seem to have a recurrent present but few clear traces of the past nor an avid anticipation of the future.

Naming the recent remakes of Bond  in his witty book “The Man Who Saved Britain,” Simon Winder blurts out, “I’m sorry: I just can’t go on it’s all so terrible. They’re roughly the same, come out at irregular intervals and tend to have the word ‘Die’ in the title.” The increasingly pained-looking Bond played by Daniel Craig seems to concur.

Britain is geopolitically too insignificant, and non-Western markets — as well as political sensitivities — matter too much now for 007 to be able to fulfill neo-imperialist fantasies of power and domination. The artless seducer of women with names like Pussy Galore and Octopussy, a man who once charmingly hoped for sex to have “the sweet tang of rape,” also risks driving away a crucial demographic from the theaters. It is surely a sign of the times that in “Skyfall” a non-misogynist Bond retreats to his family estate in secession-minded Scotland, improbably preoccupied with a childhood trauma after what seems to have been a wholly unexamined life.
As will become clear in the near future, I'm not intrinsically opposed to remakes. The new Star Trek movies are better than the originals in many ways, in fact, some of their worst aspects are their determination to insert callbacks to their predecessors. No doubt Trekkies found it totally sweet when whoever it was shouted "KHAAAAAAN" just like the other guy did in the movie before him. I just rolled my eyes.

Speaking as one who has created a new detective, (to the extent that Graven Tower can properly be considered a detective as opposed to a law enforcer who applies Arnaud Amalric's approach to the detective arts), it's understandable that many writers prefer to simply borrow existing characters. It's much easier to lean on an existing store of known and well-loved characteristics than to try to create new ones.

One could even make a logical case for encouraging those who are better with plot and style to mine the public domain rather than inflict their cardboard creations on us. The problem is that many of those who are already characterization-challenged can't seem to resist putting their inept skills to use, thereby transforming the characters we know and love into cheap parodies of themselves.

Sure, it's not uninteresting to imagine what Holmes might be like if he lived today. But instead, we're presented with alternative concepts, and asked to imagine what a character might be like if he wasn't that character at all, but merely happened to be prone to utilizing the same catchphrases. Thus we have Watson transformed into an Asian woman and Holmes depicted as a gay vampire and all the deplorable host of modern politically correct(1) cliches that render most modern fiction so bloody tedious and unreadable.


(1) "People forget that political correctness used to be called spastic gay talk." - Frankie Boyle

Labels:

175 Comments:

Anonymous Idle Spectator January 08, 2014 7:09 AM  

It is elementary, my dear Twatson.

Anonymous Stilicho January 08, 2014 7:24 AM  

Derivative work is far easier than original work.

Anonymous Canadian Andy January 08, 2014 7:30 AM  

In film and television a lot of this has to do with how risk adverse production companies have become. Budgets are so large now - and so many productions fail to return to the desired profits - that no one wants to fund anything that isn't a sure thing. I think this is someone self defeating though, since they take a good idea, dumb it down, bleach out originality, and then are surprised when the public says "why would I go pay to see another knock off of x".

Anonymous Idle Spectator January 08, 2014 7:30 AM  

Derivative work is far easier than original work.

Heard of calculus?

Blogger Shimshon January 08, 2014 7:34 AM  

I thought Into Darkness was a very good reimagining of the Khan story, but the exact parallel scene with Kirk's and Spock's roles reversed was indeed eye-rolling.

Anonymous Stilicho January 08, 2014 7:47 AM  

Heard of calculus?

Wasn't he a Roman philosopher?

Blogger Outlaw X January 08, 2014 7:54 AM  

Thus we have Watson transformed into an Asian woman and Holmes depicted as a gay vampire and all the deplorable host of modern politically correct(1) cliches that render most modern fiction so bloody tedious and unreadable.

interesting to think about especially in movies. Change Jackie Chan's character into a wimp or the last movie from Steven Seagal where it was evident in real life he couldn't kick a crippled boys ass and you just roll your eyes. You can't be a tough guy forever and Seagal let himself go or has health problems. characters are intimate to the viewer or reader; trying to change them is awkward and why they don't. I never really thought about it. Some day Riddick will be too old and weak to be real in phantasy land.

Anonymous J. C. Salomon January 08, 2014 8:26 AM  

The new Sherlock is surprisingly faithful to the original, for all that Holmes, Watson, Lestrade, & the rest have been brought a century and more into the future.

Anonymous Jimmy January 08, 2014 8:41 AM  

Remakes exists for the lack of originality, yet we also don't exploit classics that are yet to be produced for film and television. Can't we mine stories that are not on anyone's radar. I given up on the Star Trek reboot. It just doesn't work.

Blogger Some dude January 08, 2014 8:45 AM  

Is it just me or did anyone else find themselves rooting for Khan?

Anonymous Gx1080 January 08, 2014 8:50 AM  

"Budgets are so large now - and so many productions fail to return to the desired profits - that no one wants to fund anything that isn't a sure thing."

That disease has affected the videogame industry, but independant publishing flourished despite it. Problem is, independant movies are just "post-modern" (read: cheap drama and camera work on the style of the Facebook of a 16-year old girl) crap or just try to copy better movies.

And, you know, when Hollywood tries to be "original", it only creates more derivate work laced with their deep contempt of those that go to watch their movies.

Anonymous dh January 08, 2014 9:15 AM  

JC-- I have to agree. I have enjoyed the new series. I like that Sherlock has retained his misanthropic ways and is widely considered odd. In way should Sherlock be popular though.

Anonymous cheddarman January 08, 2014 9:18 AM  

Captain Kirk rules, end of story

Anonymous Flannel Avenger January 08, 2014 10:02 AM  

I enjoy Star Trek and I hated with the fiery passion of a thousand suns that derivative scene in ST:ID where they reverse roles, Kirk dies, and Spock pulls a Shatner.

Blogger Eric Wilson January 08, 2014 10:04 AM  

The BBC show is pretty good
The CBS show I refuse to watch. Lucy Liu just seems to old to pull off Watson.
And the Robert Downey/Jude Law movies are pretty terrible.

Anonymous Apollo January 08, 2014 10:25 AM  

Its pretty painful how PC the CBS show is. Making Watson a woman was bad enough, but Moriarty too?

Im not aware of the gay vampire version of Holmes though. Id like to just assume thats a joke because it sounds too dumb to be real, but that instinct has had me dismiss other real phenomena before...

Anonymous Krul January 08, 2014 10:31 AM  

Sherlock Holmes is one of those rare characters that can work in any setting, past, future, real or imagined, if handled well. Cyrano de'Bergerac is another. Most characters are too involved with their particular context to work in other settings, except as cameos or jokes. Would Achilles work outside the context of ancient Greek warfare in general and the Trojan War in particular? I don't think so.

Eric Wilson -
The BBC show is pretty good
The CBS show I refuse to watch. Lucy Liu just seems to old to pull off Watson.
And the Robert Downey/Jude Law movies are pretty terrible.


Agreed, with the caveat that movie Moriarty rocks, and BBC Moriarty sucks.

Anonymous Josh January 08, 2014 10:38 AM  

Would Achilles work outside the context of ancient Greek warfare in general and the Trojan War in particular? I don't think so.

Couldn't you have an Achilles who's am ace pilot in the luftwaffe? Or a Viking berserker?

A diesel punk Achilles in the interwar period with the finest aircraft that his mysterious rich mother ordered from a genius mechanic. Except that there's a tiny flaw that leads to disaster when exposed to sunlight.

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 10:39 AM  

Well, yes, I've noticed some derivative, "can't come up with anything original" stuff lately. Those are usually done by Boomers, actually.

Look at the stuff the Gen-Xers are producing/directing/creating, though. Even when technically derivative, they tend to bring something fresh, and you can actually get the sense that they are doing it out of LOVE for the original concept (and a firm hatred of the camp that permeated the ones that went before).

Heck, just look at all the kids' shows that are getting reboots (geared for kids or adults), and are frankly better because they're not just vehicles for selling cheap plastic trash anymore.

This is, I suspect, reflective of the generational frustration with just about everything the Boomers have screwed up and/or handled poorly. You guys have a kind of "I could do that better" attitude, which is kind of justified by your not being invested in discredited concepts.

So...yeah. Remakes are natural, and don't necessarily demonstrate of a lack of creativity.

Anonymous Krul January 08, 2014 10:40 AM  

Re: Khan,

This is a minor thing but I found it distracting as hell. Khan is supposed to be Asian, right? I know that Ricardo Montalban is Hispanic and all, but he can at least pass for someone with some Asian ancestry. Benedict Cumberbatch is as English as a fish 'n chips.

"My name is KHAN."

"Of the Liverpool Khans?"

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 10:44 AM  

Its pretty painful how PC the CBS show is. Making Watson a woman was bad enough, but Moriarty too?

You can be excused for casting a woman as Watson if she's Joanne Woodward, playing opposite George C. Scott as Holmes, in a movie that is examining where the bright line for "sanity" is.

But that's pretty much it.

Anonymous Krul January 08, 2014 10:45 AM  

Josh - Couldn't you have an Achilles who's am ace pilot in the luftwaffe? Or a Viking berserker?

In that case he would just be a generic action hero who happened to be names "Achilles". His essential character traits would have been lost in translation. Sherlock and Cyrano are still fully recognizable as themselves in any setting.

Anonymous Josh January 08, 2014 10:46 AM  

And the Robert Downey/Jude Law movies are pretty terrible.

Oh they're lots of fun.

Anonymous Josh January 08, 2014 10:47 AM  

In that case he would just be a generic action hero who happened to be names "Achilles". His essential character traits would have been lost in translation.

What essential character traits are you referring to? Being the son of a deity? Having a fatal weakness?

Blogger GPMark January 08, 2014 10:48 AM  

Ironically I've been having a debate with my aethiest cousin who thinks that the original Star Wars would have been more inspiring for young girls if some of the x-wing pilots at the end were women. I agreed, if Porkins was a girl and they did not change the character's name...

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 10:49 AM  

This is a minor thing but I found it distracting as hell. Khan is supposed to be Asian, right? I know that Ricardo Montalban is Hispanic and all, but he can at least pass for someone with some Asian ancestry. Benedict Cumberbatch is as English as a fish 'n chips.

They tried to excuse that because Khan is supposed to be the product of extreme genetic engineering. It strikes me as actually kind of shocking that they imply picking and choosing the DNA to create a more perfect human would result in a white guy, but...yeah. I'm giggling over that.

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 10:54 AM  

Ironically I've been having a debate with my aethiest cousin who thinks that the original Star Wars would have been more inspiring for young girls if some of the x-wing pilots at the end were women.

Inspiring them to do what? Get killed to demonstrate how competent the enemy is in comparison? Die carrying out an insanely suicidal plan? Provide drama and tension?

Getting killed as a random nobody is hardly "inspiring", if you ask me.

Anonymous Will Best January 08, 2014 10:54 AM  

How did you all make it past the first episode of Elementary? I was shocked the show was still on the air when I saw promos for it during football this year. I would like to know how they came to Lucy Liu even after committing to a female minority for the part though.

What I don't like is Hollywood's quest for international dollars has really started to have a noticeable impact on movies in the last decade. As bad as our recent cultural productions have been in recent years, its only making it worse.

OpenID cailcorishev January 08, 2014 10:58 AM  

I recently watched Wrath of Khan with the Rifftrax audio ("Take a good look at my pecs; really soak 'em in.") and it's kind of amazing how well that movie works. You've got this villain who's trying to out-ham Shatner, with his gang of 80s-hair-band followers, Kirk letting his ship get shot up because he couldn't be bothered to say "raise shields," and the guy with the supposed "genetically-engineered superior intellect" get outmaneuvered by the tricky concept of "down." If you pitched it to someone, you'd get laughed at. And yet it's all great, even with the now-outdated effects and some really bad acting.

Anonymous Krul January 08, 2014 10:59 AM  

Josh - What essential character traits are you referring to? Being the son of a deity? Having a fatal weakness?

That's the thing. There have been plenty of characters that have been great warriors, sons of deities, having fatal weaknesses, etc. Achilles towers over nearly all of them because of his role in the Trojan War and his many complex relationships with the other Greek and Trojan heroes: Agammemnon, Patroclus, Hector, Priam, Odysseus, Nestor, Ajax, etc. Achilles is elevated because of his role as central focus and lynchpin in an immense epic.

In order to recreate Achilles, you would basically have to recreate the Trojan War itself with analogs for most of the other characters, including supporting characters like Briseis.

Blogger IM2L844 January 08, 2014 10:59 AM  

The problem with the new Sherlock is not with the Holmes character. The show is missing that unique psychological competitive dynamic that only exists between men. The male/female thing, while it may be interesting in it's own right to a certain demographic, is a complete failure from my perspective.

Anonymous patrick kelly January 08, 2014 11:04 AM  

"Star Wars would have been more inspiring for young girls if some of the x-wing pilots at the end were women."

Nope, young girls are interested in hot guys. They envy the girls who get the hot guys. Maybe if one of the pilots was a hot girl who had a hot guy boyfriend.....

Anonymous patrick kelly January 08, 2014 11:06 AM  

"The problem with the new Sherlock ...."

The show with this problem is "Elementary". The Brit "Sherlock" I like much better.....

Anonymous Mudz January 08, 2014 11:08 AM  

No doubt Trekkies found it totally sweet when whoever it was shouted "KHAAAAAAN" just like the other guy did in the movie before him. I just rolled my eyes.

With ya on this one, dude. In fact, I watched it months ago, and it still bothers the heck out me. I just kept thinking 'how in the shit-holes does this even make cosmic sense? What, is he like a transmentodimensional dyslexic cosmopath who exactly duplicated everything 'except opposite'?' That silly to the nth degree of eviltwinnian precision.

Seriously, I'm not getting over this any time soon. It's almost as combination bemusing-doofy as the 'ungod-Thor, unmagic-magic, uninteresting-demystification' - etc - constancy of 'Agents of Shields' thing. (I like the show for the pretty girl with the accent, but other than that, man, talk about mass-evisceration of coolness potential of supertechnology of magical alien gods of ancient mythology.)

I basically felt that ST:ID this was kind of dropping a big turd over 'Wrath of Khan'. Like that movie didn't count even in Alternate Universe form. That's the only way I can interpolate the conceit of exact dooplicatude.

Khan was pretty cool though. He sold me on the Superhuman Levels of Repressed Emotion. Frankly, he is the only reason I might rewatch it.

But I can never really buy into whatshisface playing as Spock. There's no credible 'self-restrained and grave Ubersuperduperman of Vulcan high passions and superhuman mental and physical strength' about him, just 'basement nerd' with overtones of emo vampire to cheat his stats. That the actor turned out to be gay wasn't a big surprise.

Anonymous VD January 08, 2014 11:14 AM  

I've been having a debate with my aethiest cousin who thinks that the original Star Wars would have been more inspiring for young girls

Did you point out to her that the object of the original Star Wars was not to inspire young girls, but rather, make money by rehashing various tales that have historically appaled to boys?

Tell her to stick to the sparkleponies and sparkly vampires.

Blogger JartStar January 08, 2014 11:16 AM  

The latest Bond movie was boring and predictable and showed that MI6 was without a moral compass.

Anonymous Noah B. January 08, 2014 11:17 AM  

No doubt Trekkies found it totally sweet when whoever it was shouted "KHAAAAAAN" just like the other guy did in the movie before him.

Not at all. In fact, since the new episodes were based on a different timeline, I had hoped the interaction between Kirk and Khan would be completely different, but it was not to be. And it's damning with faint praise to say that the new Star Trek movies have been better than most of the originals.

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 11:18 AM  

The show is missing that unique psychological competitive dynamic that only exists between men. The male/female thing, while it may be interesting in it's own right to a certain demographic, is a complete failure from my perspective.

I wonder if this isn't tied to the whole "all relationships are sexual" thing I encountered over and over during college and grad. There are people who are literally incapable of seeing any two (or more) people (or things) interact without assuming there's "sexual tension".

So they wouldn't necessarily see that there's a distinct difference between the dynamics of man/woman versus man/man.

What, is he like a transmentodimensional dyslexic cosmopath who exactly duplicated everything 'except opposite'?' That silly to the nth degree of eviltwinnian precision.

I got the impression from the first one that there's a "hand of God" running through--that certain events WILL take place, certain people WILL meet, that kind of thing. I know they tried to insist it wasn't like that, but...c'mon. By the time you drop Kirk randomly onto a planet where Scotty is warehoused, we're long past coincidence.

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 11:24 AM  

(( 'ungod-Thor, unmagic-magic, uninteresting-demystification'

((My husband informs me that this is not new, and that in fact, the respected scholar and statesman he maligns in RP, Snorri Sturluson, theorized that the Norse myths and probably other mythologies were basically just tall tales that got blown out of proportion.))

Anonymous FP January 08, 2014 11:25 AM  

The new Trek is drek just because of the so called fan service. Its your standard space action movie but they can't even come up with new ideas other than making a Brit actor play Khan and do a Freaky Friday with Spock and Kirk.

Anonymous bob k. mando January 08, 2014 11:25 AM  

speaking of tedious remakes; The Hobbit, Into Smaug was about what i expected. the whole movie was really bad ... until Smaug woke up. and even that scene got drug out at least 10 minutes too long.

two examples -
1 at the beginning of the movie Gloin shows someone a sketch picture of some dwarves, is asked who they are and replies that it's his wife and strapping boy ( the young Gimli ). both wife and boy have full beards ( as is canon and as we expect ). later, while the dwarves are in the mountain, Smaug chases them into a room where a bunch of dwarves had died. all of the female dwarves are barefaced ...
*facepalm*
and that's not even considering why corpses that have been laying around in a damp cave for +100 years haven't been skeletonized yet.

2 Jackson does a reprise of his invented-from-whole-cloth 'oh garsh, Aragorn is dead' ( substituting Smaug for Aragorn ) scene from the Two Towers but doesn't drag it out near as long.

of course, the fact that dragons like heat and love gold raises the question ... why would Smaug have been bothered by molten gold in the first place ( iirc, it was actually the water of Long Lake which quenched Smaug's internal fire )? the scene would have played far more effectively if Smaug had started laughing uproariously at the dwarves once covered in gold, turned his back on them in derision and flown out to destroy Lake Town as punishment.

but this is Jackson, he can't tell a story worth a damn.

you want to see retcon done right, check out Alan Moore's work on Swamp Thing.

Anonymous Krul January 08, 2014 11:27 AM  

GPMark - Ironically I've been having a debate with my aethiest cousin who thinks that the original Star Wars would have been more inspiring for young girls if some of the x-wing pilots at the end were women.

It's actually a defensible position, from a marketing perspective.

Exhibit A - The Hobbit 2. The fangirls absolutely love the new elf chick - Tauriel, I think she's called.

I rather enjoyed Tauriel myself, if not for the reasons intended. I was stifling my laughter in the theater (with limited success) when it became clear that Tauriel's story in the movie is LITERALLY a bad fanfic. She's a perfet Mary Sue warrior babe who can do no wrong and is lusted after by both Legolas and Kili (fey fangirl favs from LOTR and Hobbit franchises, respectively).

Blogger IM2L844 January 08, 2014 11:28 AM  

The show with this problem is "Elementary".

Right. Thanks. That's what I meant. Never seen the Brit show.

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 11:38 AM  

...it became clear that Tauriel's story in the movie is LITERALLY a bad fanfic. She's a perfet Mary Sue warrior babe who can do no wrong and is lusted after by both Legolas and Kili (fey fangirl favs from LOTR and Hobbit franchises, respectively).

And this is why I hate "original characters" inserted into canon so much.

Anonymous Riccola January 08, 2014 11:41 AM  

Somewhat off topic but this may interest some of you. Back in 2011 I was asked to screen a few trailers for upcoming movies. One of those was Red Tails(?), a film about the Tuskegee pilots. The trailer was about how horrible white people were and about black people overcoming racism. I told the company showing the trailers that I had no interest in seeing a movie that guilted me about being white and I had already see this movie 3 times before, hell this would be the third time Cuba Gooding Jr had done the same movie. A few months later trailers came out for it on TV and race was never mentioned.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 January 08, 2014 11:45 AM  

The latest Bond movie was boring and predictable and showed that MI6 was without a moral compass.

At least they got rid of the female M.

M16, in reality, has always been without a moral compass, save Queen and country. At this point, I question their loyalty to the country, though I wouldn't question their loyalty to their Queen.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 January 08, 2014 11:47 AM  

I rather enjoyed Tauriel myself, if not for the reasons intended. I was stifling my laughter in the theater (with limited success) when it became clear that Tauriel's story in the movie is LITERALLY a bad fanfic. She's a perfet Mary Sue warrior babe who can do no wrong and is lusted after by both Legolas and Kili (fey fangirl favs from LOTR and Hobbit franchises, respectively).

I'm wouldn't bother throwing a huge fit about her character. She's going to die in the next movie, more than likely. Her existence serves as a vehicle to provide character development for Legolas to overcome his own racism toward dwarves.

Anonymous Josh January 08, 2014 11:48 AM  

How can a gun have a compass?

Anonymous Noah B. January 08, 2014 11:50 AM  

How can a gun have a compass?

Superglue.

Anonymous TWS January 08, 2014 11:52 AM  

Yeah I guess a superhuman, ultra-alpha, Sikh prince built like an athlete can be played by a homely, trout-shouldered, milk pale, scarecrow thin brit. He certainly said, "superior being" to me.

I believed Richardo was 'absolute ruler of nearly a quarter of Asia' and capable of seducing a Starfleet officer out of her spankies.

Smaug's voice should have played Jean-Luc's inexplicably british ancestor or something. And what the fuck with the lens flare? I wasn't watching Kung-Fu or some drug soaked freakout movie. Is the future full of point of view strings of light orbs?

I hate Abrams. Luke is going to be the illegitimate son of Darth and Jar-Jar played by Justin Bieber.

Anonymous Krul January 08, 2014 11:54 AM  

swiftfoxmark2 - Her existence serves as a vehicle to provide character development for Legolas to overcome his own racism toward dwarves.

That's another thing - Legolas is an asshole now. It's a definite improvement over the squeaky-clean cipher he was in LOTR, in terms of entertainment value. The fact that the actor has clearly grown up a bit since LOTR contributes to this, IMHO.

Anonymous bob k. mando January 08, 2014 12:00 PM  

swiftfoxmark2 January 08, 2014 11:47 AM
Her existence serves as a vehicle to provide character development for Legolas to overcome his own racism toward dwarves.



huh-whuuuuuu?

how does being a different race than the opposing male in a love triangle 'help' you get over your racism?

Tauriel dies and Legolas and Killi run off and have a gay old time drowning their sorrows in each other? how the FUCK does that work?

not to mention, Legolas still didn't like dwarves in the Fellowship movie.

so what re-'radicalizes' him in the interim between the third Hobbit movie and Fellowship?

Anonymous Blume January 08, 2014 12:04 PM  

I'm with Bob. Legolas starts the Fellowship as racist against dwarves. It is the journey with the fellowship and fighting side by side with Gimli that overcomes his racism.

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 12:05 PM  

Her existence serves as a vehicle to provide character development for Legolas to overcome his own racism toward dwarves.

His friendship with Gimli was supposed to do that.

GOD DAMN IT, Mary Sue steals all the things again!

Anonymous TWS January 08, 2014 12:05 PM  

The Hobbit movies have dick to do with the book and anything added is pure suck as gay-ass Jackson and that dumb woman he works with. Stupid.

Anonymous Giraffe January 08, 2014 12:05 PM  

You know you are getting old when Total Recall comes out as a remake. On the other hand, they remake Batman every six weeks or so.

Anonymous Josh January 08, 2014 12:06 PM  

Tauriel dies and Legolas and Killi run off and have a gay old time drowning their sorrows in each other? how the FUCK does that work?

In which McRapey's next novel is revealed.

Anonymous NorthernHamlet January 08, 2014 12:07 PM  

Vox,

What's your opinion on the writing quality of the House MD show (based on the Sherlock personality)?

Have you enjoyed the new BBC Sherlock?

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 January 08, 2014 12:12 PM  

Tauriel dies and Legolas and Killi run off and have a gay old time drowning their sorrows in each other? how the FUCK does that work?

Kili is going to die too, although in the original novel it was defending Thorin from Bolg. Given the new characters, who knows how it will play out in the movie.

Blogger Matt January 08, 2014 12:15 PM  

How can a gun have a compass?

Well somebody missed their Christmas Story marathon this year.

Would Achilles work outside the context of ancient Greek warfare in general and the Trojan War in particular? I don't think so.

It's not just the setting, it's the fact that he's not really intended to be a fictional character. Who knows how closely the Illiad adheres to history, but it's pretty widely believed to be a poetic retelling of an actual war circa the 12th century BC. Putting Achilles in a modern setting would be almost like having a DC political drama about a statesman/inventor/raconteur who just happened to be named Benjamin Franklin. It just doesn't work.

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 12:17 PM  

Yeah I guess a superhuman, ultra-alpha, Sikh prince built like an athlete can be played by a homely, trout-shouldered, milk pale, scarecrow thin brit. He certainly said, "superior being" to me.

That's as may be, but I suspect he was cast for three reasons:

1. Voice. That's a heck of a voice.

2. Acting. He can do it.

3. Eyes. You can tell when he's looking at someone, because he looks the HELL out of them.

Anonymous John Scalzi January 08, 2014 12:18 PM  

Derivative work is far easier than original work.
Are you guys talking about me again?
Please? Pretty please?

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 January 08, 2014 12:21 PM  

I enjoyed the Fright Night remake a lot.

Most of the slasher remakes are garbage as far as I can tell. Although there have been a lot of exploitation movies from the 70s and early 80s that are being remade like Maniac or I Spit On Your Grave, neither of which needed updates for modern audiences.

Originality is pretty much dead in Hollywood right now. Not that I'm complaining too much, as the entire corporate empire that is Hollywood was infiltrated by Leftists and has been run by them for decades.

If you want to see some good movies where the primary protagonist isn't a pussy, check out McLintock! or Coogan's Bluff. Both movies feature real Alpha male characters who deal with women that is perfectly in line with Game.

You will not find any remakes of those. Nor would I want them to be remade.

OpenID cailcorishev January 08, 2014 12:23 PM  

I've been having a debate with my aethiest cousin who thinks that the original Star Wars would have been more inspiring for young girls if some of the x-wing pilots at the end were women.

People back then still had enough class not to want to watch girls go plunging to their deaths in a ball of fire; men did war. The only way it could have worked -- and the way it would be done now -- would be to make Han a girl and Leia a prince. Then the strong, independent, feisty Hanette could save Prince Lewis from the Death Star, then daringly swoop in at the end to save the trusty farmboy hero Luke and choose him in the end over the flashy prince.

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben January 08, 2014 12:25 PM  

Tauriel pissed me off. Piece of shit Jackson destroyed the book to appeal to fuckin feminists. What's next? A black dward bull dyke to appeal to gay black midgets?! He fucks up Beorn, the Mirkwood scene was butchered and they have to add in a Xena warrior princess and dwarf-elf romance?! It angers me to no end how you could do that to one of the best childhood stories ever made.

At least the 1st movie had some good scenes (intro to Erebor, gollum-bilbo, the unexpected meeting).




Anonymous bob k. mando January 08, 2014 12:28 PM  

Giraffe January 08, 2014 12:05 PM
You know you are getting old when Total Recall comes out as a remake



also, Robocop.

OpenID cailcorishev January 08, 2014 12:29 PM  

There are people who are literally incapable of seeing any two (or more) people (or things) interact without assuming there's "sexual tension".

So, so true. The worst thing about discussing TV shows with liberals is that they spend half their time scouring shows for "Hoyay" (short for "homoeroticism yay") -- anything at all that they can interpret as a sign of homosexual interest, usually between men. Any friendship between men gets interpreted this way, and the stronger the friendship the more they go on about it.

I wonder sometimes how much that affects the ability of men raised on TV to form deep friendships with other men, if they've constantly been told that getting close to another man means you're probably gay for him.

Anonymous Krul January 08, 2014 12:30 PM  

FUBAR Nation Ben - Tauriel pissed me off. Piece of shit Jackson destroyed the book to appeal to fuckin feminists.

Dude, chill. Jackson didn't "destroy the book", he just made some poor choices adapting its story to another medium. The book is still great and will remain so long after "Tauriel" disappears down the memory hole.

Anonymous Krul January 08, 2014 12:33 PM  

bob k. mando -
Giraffe January 08, 2014 12:05 PM
You know you are getting old when Total Recall comes out as a remake


also, Robocop.


also, Judge Dredd.

Anonymous TX January 08, 2014 12:34 PM  

What's the word with the Star Wars sequels??

My worry is that with JJ Abrams at the helm, he'll pull the same thing as with Start Trek -- turning Episode 7 into a "Reboot" of A New Hope. But this time with CGI! and black lesbo X-wing pilots! and Han is now a girl!

How will he manage to reboot Star Wars, you wonder? Easy -- time travel. Same as Trek, Lost, and the other crap Abrams has written.

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben January 08, 2014 12:34 PM  

You're right, Krul. The movie was good except for Tauriel which nearly destroyed it. I just can't stand when directors add stuff in that is clearly not in the book, like a romance to appease feminists.

In LOTR at least you had the romance between Aragorn and Arwen.

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben January 08, 2014 12:35 PM  

Has anyone seen the movie versions of the chronicles of narnia? Did it present the book well?

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 12:35 PM  

I liked the Total Recall remake better than the original, but that's mostly because I hate postmodernism, "hookers with a heart of gold", and aliens ex machina. (Or is it "machina ex aliens" in this case?) None of these are acceptable.

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 12:40 PM  

Has anyone seen the movie versions of the chronicles of narnia? Did it present the book well?

I saw the first one and ragequit the series.

My big, big problem came up when the White Witch came after Edmund and Aslan met her. In the book, he calmly makes her recite the terms of the "Old Magic"; in the movie, he nervously tries to shut her up. There was a REASON he got her to say it, and aside from that, it strongly demonstrated that he was in control of the situation.

Utterly and thoroughly missed the point of everything. EVERYTHING.

Anonymous Krul January 08, 2014 12:41 PM  

Sigyn - I liked the Total Recall remake better than the original

I like the original better, because it's Arnold Schwarzenegger vs Michael Ironside. Don't remember much about the remake, except that it was dull.

Anonymous Josh January 08, 2014 12:42 PM  

Has anyone seen the movie versions of the chronicles of narnia? Did it present the book well?

First one was decent, they added in several scenes that were unnecessary, and Tilda Swanson was a poor choice for the white witch.

Prince Caspian was awful.

Never saw dawn treader.

Anonymous Mudz January 08, 2014 12:44 PM  

I got the impression from the first one that there's a "hand of God" running through

Haha, that explanation occurred to me, but it doesn't help at all. It just becomes a different kind of retarded. Some things, you could go with under this theme, but the whole 'Kirk/Spock pirouette of roles' thing is just too dorky to pass muster.

Did the universe really need someone to shout the word 'KHAAAAAAAN!' at the ceiling? Was it really something that needed to be ordained?

Guess Kirk's wife, son and Genesis Device were piffling extraneity, but boy did that ceiling fabric need a good talking to. (Or maybe Khan was supposed to hear him across the Vacuum of Spaaaaaace!)

My husband informs me that this is not new, and that in fact, the respected scholar and statesman he maligns in RP, Snorri Sturluson, theorized that the Norse myths and probably other mythologies were basically just tall tales that got blown out of proportion

Euhemerism or something, right?

But the Eddas themselves were pantsblindingly awesome. The magic in it is so literally weird. Thor wrestles with an old woman, who is actually Old Age and is why he can't ovecome her. He is tricked into hitting mountains with his hammer instead of the trickster's face (totally classic) and trying to wrestle the world serpent (who got disguised as a cat).

I mean, seriously, that's magic, and it's really cool. I want more of that. Why do the movies never do THAT? DO ET NOW. >:0

In the Agents of Shield serial, they took a Berserker Staff of Odin, and instead of making it something like the 'splinter that pierces the god's dark heart of hearts to draw forth his divine blood as poison' and infusing them with divine madness and all that mystical Norse scary berserker stuff, it was just 'touch my wood and get a buzz, hoo-rah'. Yay. That's great, guys. Ancient magical artifact of the gods in a time before time, hidden and divided because of its awesome and terrible power is just some sort kind of pumped up caffeinated steroid-cocktail on a stick.

Now obviously, this is what they want, because Science, but they still could had gone full bull on evoking at least some sense of mystery about the ultra-advanced super-alien technology. Stuff like the 'Stick of Having Bad Thoughts' didn't quite do it for me. They could have had a sense of art about the whole doo-rangey thing. Basically, I wanted the show to be more interesting, but hey, I'll watch it anyway.

It's not really their fault. It's already established Marvel stuff. It just surprised me not at all to find out that Joss Whedon was hovering around it. It had a very Whedonian flavour. 'God is Love, and mystical and magical, and not really God at all, in fact it's just my word for saying I have feelings and stuff, but it's totally spiritual and everything. That's the God I like.'

(In fact, I suspect I watch this show, just because I know there's going to be soooo much atheism fluff in it, and it's amusing.)

-

Also, congrats on the baby! That was recently, right? I use the power of internet to abundantly shower the produce of thy union with all sort of positive cost-free upbeat thoughts and implied smiley faces. May God bless your baby will all kinds of baby blessings, adjusted for gender and translated for sincerity. (Assume one Briar Rose sans the curse, if girl. Or some kind of warrior-poet of gentle heart but fierce courage who shall be the pride, not vexation, of his parents, if boy.)

Anonymous freestater January 08, 2014 12:44 PM  

"FUBAR Nation Ben - Tauriel pissed me off. Piece of shit Jackson destroyed the book to appeal to fuckin feminists."

1. Did you even see the movie? Without Tauriel and Legolas all the action scenes would have been crap. The two elves made the movie, well that, and the Suaron vs Gandalf scene

2. The Star Trek sequels have been the best Star Trek movies to date, especially Into Darkness.

3. KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNN!!!!!

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 12:49 PM  

I like the original better, because it's Arnold Schwarzenegger vs Michael Ironside. Don't remember much about the remake, except that it was dull.

Well, Michael Ironside is always fun to watch, but while Arnold is/was a talented bodybuilder, he is so not an actor. If you're down with watching something for the explosions and fight scenes, okay, but I'm looking at the whole of it for now.

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben January 08, 2014 12:52 PM  

freestater, none of that action was in the book.

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben January 08, 2014 12:52 PM  

Freestater, did you read the book?

Anonymous TWS January 08, 2014 12:54 PM  

Sigyn - voice? There's no Sikh (or at least brown skinned) actors with a compelling voice? Honestly I couldn't hear his voice over the shriek of his glaring alabaster complexion.

Yes, when he snarled 'my name is Khan' through that picket fence dentition, I was mesmerized.

Of course I'm being snarky but that's because Abrams is an ass. He tried to head-fake as the second pilot in star trek where the two developed psychic powers.

And the lens flare, how can you hear the voice over the lens flare?

Anonymous Krul January 08, 2014 12:58 PM  

Sigyn - Well, Michael Ironside is always fun to watch, but while Arnold is/was a talented bodybuilder, he is so not an actor.

Actor, no. Entertainer, yes.

The original Total Recall was a tongue-in-cheek scifi adventure with great practical special effects, committed* performances, and a fascinating premise.

The new one is, what? A gray, understated, generic, droopy-dog CGI-fest that just takes the premise and strips away all the fun? I don't see the appeal.

(*Please note: "committed" =/= "skilled")

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 1:01 PM  

((@ Mudz: It has been a source of misery to LoA that we don't get good TV reception out here, or else we'd be watching "Agents" too. He could pay for it, sure, but he's stubborn about not subsidizing a lot of garbage along with the stuff we do want. Not that I care; the less he's looking at the TV, the more he's looking at me, and I'm not going to complain about that.

((Yes, you could do better than what you describe. That sounds bottomlessly awful. I'm not even a sci-fi/fantasy geek and I know you should always have a terrible price to pay for awesome power--which is why the original owners didn't want it.

((And the baby is born, a girl. She is beyond wonderful, and the happy thoughts are flying high! Thank you for your well wishes.))

Anonymous Krul January 08, 2014 1:02 PM  

Sigyn - I hate postmodernism, "hookers with a heart of gold", and aliens ex machina.

Good points, these, BUT original is still fun and remake is still boring.

Anonymous fanboyd January 08, 2014 1:02 PM  

The worst scenes in Hobbit 1 were all additions by Peter Jackson ...he basically ruined the book for me.

1) Dwarves singing and doing the dishes? Gee, thanks Peter adding this. WTF?

2) Tolkien was happy with 7 dwarfs in the book... why did Peter-boy include 13 of them?

3) Yeah, right, Bilbo just happens to find the sword Sting in a cave... Geeze, we can't have every scene have a reference to LOTR can we Pete?

4) "Game of golf was invented" har har har. Good job, Jackson. Let's add some modern-day references like golf to spoil the whole setting. Hear that? It's Tolkien spinning in his grave.

5) Tolkien was clear that Thorin had a blue hood and had a harp. Why did Jackson completely distort Thorin's appearance?

Anonymous bob k. mando January 08, 2014 1:03 PM  

Krul January 08, 2014 12:33 PM
also, Judge Dredd.


nobody cares about Judge Dredd. that's like if you cried when Steven Seagal died in Executive Decision.

dude, they just turned Steven Seagal into a grease spot. BONUS!



Sigyn January 08, 2014 12:40 PM
Utterly and thoroughly missed the point of everything. EVERYTHING.



'missed' the point? or maybe emasculating the Christ figure in the face of evil WAS the point?


freestater January 08, 2014 12:44 PM
1. Did you even see the movie? Without Tauriel and Legolas all the action scenes would have been crap.



*facepalm*

uh, all of the action scenes WERE retarded crap. and Tauriel and Legolas were no small part of WHY they were crap.

for instance, when the dwarves are passing through the sluice gate ... a half dozen heavily armed and armored elven guards get massacred by the orcs.

then Tauriel shows up and single handedly slaughters all of the orcs ... in close quarters ... by herself?

Legolas can dance across the floating barrels ... but decides that the best place to plant his feet is on the faces of the dwarves? ohh, ha ha, hee hee, so funny.

NOT.

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 1:09 PM  

The new one is, what? A gray, understated, generic, droopy-dog CGI-fest that just takes the premise and strips away all the fun?

Well, I'd say it's a more realistic, more cerebral approach that leans more on its plot than its effects. It does what it's supposed to do, and it does it efficiently. The original, I guess, is more about explosions and boobs, and it does those efficiently.

Lemme put it this way: I prefer Bourne to Bond. I suspect you prefer the other way around.

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 1:13 PM  

Um.

1) Dwarves singing and doing the dishes? Gee, thanks Peter adding this. WTF?

That was in the book, down to the lyrics.

2) Tolkien was happy with 7 dwarfs in the book... why did Peter-boy include 13 of them?

There were 13 in the book.

3) Yeah, right, Bilbo just happens to find the sword Sting in a cave... Geeze, we can't have every scene have a reference to LOTR can we Pete?

In the book. He gave Sting its name during the giant-spiders business, actually.

4) "Game of golf was invented" har har har. Good job, Jackson. Let's add some modern-day references like golf to spoil the whole setting. Hear that? It's Tolkien spinning in his grave.

That's Tolkien, too, actually.

5) Tolkien was clear that Thorin had a blue hood and had a harp. Why did Jackson completely distort Thorin's appearance?

Okay, now I think you're just being ridiculous.

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 1:15 PM  

for instance, when the dwarves are passing through the sluice gate ... a half dozen heavily armed and armored elven guards get massacred by the orcs.

Oh dear God, what the HELL?

The whole reason for the barrels was to escape undetected, and it worked. It shows another facet of Bilbo as a guile-hero, that he pulls off something as gutsy and innovative as that.

Anonymous VD January 08, 2014 1:16 PM  

What's your opinion on the writing quality of the House MD show (based on the Sherlock personality)?

Pretty good. One of the few atheist characters that actually made sense as an atheist.

Have you enjoyed the new BBC Sherlock?

Haven't seen it.

Anonymous Josh January 08, 2014 1:17 PM  

Whoosh...

Anonymous Dr. Kenneth Noisewater January 08, 2014 1:23 PM  

The new Sherlock is surprisingly faithful to the original, for all that Holmes, Watson, Lestrade, & the rest have been brought a century and more into the future.

I thought the Watson bits related to his time in Afghanistan and his service weapon were pretty clever, as was repurposing the word 'Rache'..

Anonymous freestater January 08, 2014 1:23 PM  

I'm aware none of that was in the book, however I think the honest fan must admit the addition of Legolas and Tauriel into the film spiced up all the action sequences and made them worth watching rather than a bunch undersized and outmatched dwarfs bumbling around and running away in fear from the Orcs all the time.

The Elves are BOSS.

Anonymous bob k. mando January 08, 2014 1:24 PM  

Sigyn January 08, 2014 1:15 PM
Oh dear God, what the HELL?
The whole reason for the barrels was to escape undetected



well, you see, if the dwarves hadn't been getting pursued by the Elves and Orcs half the way down the river to the lake THEN Jackson would have had to cut 20 minutes of running time out of the movie.

and we can't have a Jackson movie with a running time under 2 hours. how would you justify the 100 million dollar SFX budget? also, it's against union rules.

Anonymous freestater January 08, 2014 1:26 PM  

"Legolas can dance across the floating barrels ... but decides that the best place to plant his feet is on the faces of the dwarves? ohh, ha ha, hee hee, so funny.

NOT."

That is because Legolas is BOSS and the Dwarves suck dick.

Anonymous bob k. mando January 08, 2014 1:28 PM  

Josh January 08, 2014 1:17 PM
Whoosh...



ah. so it's Josh who is ( one of ) our curiously topical usernames?

Anonymous Krul January 08, 2014 1:28 PM  

Sigyn - Well, I'd say it's a more realistic, more cerebral approach that leans more on its plot than its effects. It does what it's supposed to do, and it does it efficiently. The original, I guess, is more about explosions and boobs, and it does those efficiently.

Personally, I don't agree with the conventional assumption that "realism" is necessarily a good thing in fiction. Insisting on "realism" usually just means imposing pointless restrictions on one's imagination, in my experience. The whole point of fiction is to explore the possible, not recreate the commonplace.

I won't comment on the remake's effectiveness because, as I said, it was so boring that I don't remember the details that well. However, I will point out that the original is not about "explosions and boobs", but about the relationship between preception and reality, and the impact of memory on one's identity. The fascinating premise is the same for both films; the difference is that the new one does not exercise originality in that regard and doesn't have fun exploring it.

Lemme put it this way: I prefer Bourne to Bond. I suspect you prefer the other way around.

If by "Bond" you mean the First and Only True Bond, then yes. Bourne is still cool, though.

Blogger buzzardist January 08, 2014 1:28 PM  

The cult of originality is really quite a new thing in literature, and it sets an utterly unrealistic standard for artists. Historically, much of the best art involved closely imitating with slight alterations. There is very little in Chaucer that doesn't have a close analogue in French. With most of Shakespeare's plays, we can trace very plainly where he stole his plots and characters from.

An artist needs to insert something relevant and different into any artwork, but originality is not relevant to the greatness of the art. An artist is great if he does a thing better than anyone else ever has, and this often means rehashing material that others have trod heavily through before.

Anonymous bob k. mando January 08, 2014 1:31 PM  

freestater January 08, 2014 1:26 PM
That is because Legolas is BOSS and the Dwarves suck dick.



there you have it folks. freestater is fey for the Fay. i'm sure in only a no-homo way.

Anonymous Myrddin January 08, 2014 1:33 PM  

@fanboyd

Was that intentional sarcasm? 'Cause I wanted to punch PJ after watching Hobbit 1 as much as the next man, but you're still wrong.

Blogger buzzardist January 08, 2014 1:37 PM  

I don't agree with the conventional assumption that "realism" is necessarily a good thing in fiction. Insisting on "realism" usually just means imposing pointless restrictions on one's imagination, in my experience. The whole point of fiction is to explore the possible, not recreate the commonplace.

Realism isn't necessarily recreating the commonplace. It's much more about creating a verisimilitude that makes readers/viewers believe that these people and situations could be real, and since they could be real, how they think and react is relevant to our own social lives.

Realism is a feature of modernity, so it is something quite new to art in the last few hundred years. I agree with you, though, that it's not necessarily a good thing, nor is it necessarily bad. What irks me about realism is when people hold it up as the only or best standard for art, ignoring the underlying principles of imitation stretching back millennia, which ought to remind us that "realism" is really just as artificial as any other art, perhaps even more so. We make something that seems so real that people are convinced in their minds that it is. This is artifice and fiction at its extreme--all fiction is clever lies, but realism tries to make us think that it's not lying.

Anonymous Josh January 08, 2014 1:38 PM  

ah. so it's Josh who is ( one of ) our curiously topical usernames?

No, I'm not fanboyd. Just pointing out that someone had missed the joke.

Anonymous Josh January 08, 2014 1:40 PM  

That is because Legolas is BOSS and the Dwarves suck dick.

Do you wear lots of axe perfume and beats headphones, and are you a fan of the Miami heat?

In other words, are you twelve years old?

Anonymous TWS January 08, 2014 1:42 PM  

Fanboyd- you almost got Sig to bite or maybe not your pseudo-troll was too obvious. Next time try praising the cutting edge cgi over the old school make up and prostetics.

Sigyn - Congrats. Wonderful news. I assume you're going with Thorhilder or some other Nordic name? Or are you sticking with the Marvel Universe and going Ororo? Lol

Blogger Feather Blade January 08, 2014 1:42 PM  

I am told that the extraneous bits in the movies (like all of the elf-politicking and Gandalf's absence) are in the appendices and other material that Tolkein wrote.

(I have not confirmed this for myself.)

Putting these scenes in instead of merely sticking strictly to the content of The Hobbit enables the movie-maker to a) do more expansive world-building, b) more clearly tie the events of The Hobbit to the events of The Lord of the Rings, and c) milk the movie-goers for more money.

Anonymous Noah B. January 08, 2014 1:44 PM  

The BBC version of Sherlock is well done and worth checking out.

Anonymous freestater January 08, 2014 1:45 PM  

Josh

Do you watch South Park and beg mommy and Daddy for one more game on X-Box before you go to Bed?

The Dwarves are pathetic

Oh No Orcs! Save us Gandalf!

Oh No we got captured by the Cave Trolls! Save us Gandalf!

Oh No that blade of grass was slightly sharp! Save us Gandalf!

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 1:51 PM  

Personally, I don't agree with the conventional assumption that "realism" is necessarily a good thing in fiction. Insisting on "realism" usually just means imposing pointless restrictions on one's imagination, in my experience. The whole point of fiction is to explore the possible, not recreate the commonplace.

On the contrary. Fiction is events that didn't happen, or didn't happen quite like that.

Whether to use realism or not depends on what you're trying to convey, among other things. It's very easy to get lost in the "fantastic" (word used loosely) elements of a work and utterly miss the theme or point if you don't keep it under control--and if that happens, that's your fault and not the audience's.

If you throw in too many crazy elements, that happens. That happened for me with the original "TR": Okay, it's about perception, reality, memory, and identity...but also about three-boobed mutants, psychic dudes growing out of other dudes' stomachs, and space fleas from nowhere that left a magical atmosphere maker that somehow doesn't need gravity similar to Earth's to be breathable and is controlled by a guy who would rather risk everyone dying horribly than miss a chance to charge them for oxygen.

Before I judge it on its handling of the memory-identity business, though, I'm going to have to read "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale", just to be sure.

Anonymous bob k. mando January 08, 2014 1:53 PM  

Feather Blade January 08, 2014 1:42 PM
I am told that the extraneous bits in the movies



a bald faced lie.

yes, the stuff with the Necromancer and Radagast have some basis.

no, the Jacksonian accretions about the actions of the dwarves, Bilbo and Lake Town absolutely do not.

for instance, the dwarves never enter the mountain ( beyond sheltering at the entrance to the tunnel? ) in the book.

the orcs never make an incursion into Laketown.

Tauriel is invented from whole cloth and never existed in anything written by Tolkein.

had Jackson been true to the book, the movie would have been an easy hour+ shorter.

Anonymous Josh January 08, 2014 1:57 PM  

Do you watch South Park and beg mommy and Daddy for one more game on X-Box before you go to Bed?

I do watch South park on occasion. But I play playstation.

Your attempt at insults are really not up to par. Of course that's expected of someone whose spectrum of good to bad runs from. "BOSS" to "sucks dick".

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 1:58 PM  

Sigyn - Congrats. Wonderful news. I assume you're going with Thorhilder or some other Nordic name? Or are you sticking with the Marvel Universe and going Ororo? Lol

((Nothing so exciting, just a normal little-girl name. She's "Eisa" for Internet purposes, though.))

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 2:00 PM  

for instance, the dwarves never enter the mountain ( beyond sheltering at the entrance to the tunnel? ) in the book.

I thought they marched in and took over after Smaug had taken off and not come back, and were besieged there. Maybe I don't remember everything.

Anonymous Krul January 08, 2014 2:01 PM  

buzzardist - Realism isn't necessarily recreating the commonplace. It's much more about creating a verisimilitude that makes readers/viewers believe that these people and situations could be real, and since they could be real, how they think and react is relevant to our own social lives.

See, I don't think "[relevance] to our own social lives" has anything at all to do with the quality of a work of art. Moreover, ficition doesn't have to be similar to reality to be relevant.

Besides, we're talking about fiction here; "realistic fiction" is almost a contradiction. There's plenty of "realism" in the History section, I suppose, but if you're going to make a science fiction story about the future with Martial colonies, memory altering machines, psychic powers, women with three breasts and so forth then you've already decided against actual "realism" in any meaningful sense.

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 2:02 PM  

The Dwarves are pathetic

You're not on Team Kili, are you?

Anonymous freestater January 08, 2014 2:04 PM  

"our attempt at insults are really not up to par. Of course that's expected of someone whose spectrum of good to bad runs from. "BOSS" to "sucks dick"."

I'm Multitasking, tough to write and play online games at the same time, so I take shortcuts.

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 2:11 PM  

See, I don't think "[relevance] to our own social lives" has anything at all to do with the quality of a work of art. Moreover, ficition doesn't have to be similar to reality to be relevant.

If your point is just to show people something unreal, then fine. But if you want to talk about something relevant to reality, you have to limit your departures.

There's plenty of "realism" in the History section, I suppose,

I take it you've never heard of "historical fiction".

but if you're going to make a science fiction story about the future with Martial colonies, memory altering machines, psychic powers, women with three breasts and so forth then you've already decided against actual "realism" in any meaningful sense.

Captain Obvious strikes again.

Here's a hint: There are loads of fiction out there that don't have any of those elements, or any "fantastic" elements at all, and they are not boring nor are they nonfiction.

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 2:14 PM  

I'm Multitasking, tough to write and play online games at the same time, so I take shortcuts.

Dude, I'm writing on the Internet, reading a book, and nursing a baby all at once, and do you see me taking shortcuts?

Quit with the excuses and mature up some, kk?

Anonymous bob k. mando January 08, 2014 2:14 PM  

Sigyn January 08, 2014 2:00 PM
I thought they marched in and took over after Smaug had taken off and not come back, and were besieged there.



poor phrasing on my part.

they didn't enter the mountain in any part of the story arc which purports to be covered by The Hobbit: Into Smaugness

the besieging takes place at the Battle of Five Armies.

the dwarves don't occupy the mountain until AFTER Bard has killed Smaug.

as i say though, if Jackson followed the literature the movie run time might be 60 minutes.

Blogger Karl January 08, 2014 2:19 PM  

first time commenter here. couple points.

1) Dredd fans if you have not seen Judge Minty - www.judgeminty.com/‎ worth a look - fan made film, same universe, different character.

2) Why isn't Pramjay or whatever his name is criticizing the Chinese for the massive amount of Journey to the West/Three Kingdoms shinola that gets produced there - online games, comics, cartoons, etc. etc. I don't recall Sherlock Holmes online being released as a MMO.

Funny how the New York Times never publishes someone criticizing Bollywood for being too formulaic, but they can find a lot of Indians to criticize Hollywood for doing it.

3) Vox, if you have not checked out the "Judge Dee" series of detective stories by Van Gulik, worth a read. All the books are short 100-200 pages.

Anonymous Josh January 08, 2014 2:21 PM  

the dwarves don't occupy the mountain until AFTER Bard has killed Smaug.

Dude, SPOILER ALERT?

Anonymous freestater January 08, 2014 2:22 PM  

"Dude, I'm writing on the Internet, reading a book, and nursing a baby all at once, and do you see me taking shortcuts?"

Meh. To each their own writing talents.

Also was anyone else cheering for Smaug to finish off the Dwarves in the Mountain?

Blogger Harold Carper January 08, 2014 2:22 PM  

Matt Bird says some similar things in a multi-part series this week. Three parts, so far: What's the matter with Hollywood in 2013?, Part 2, and Part 3.

Anonymous Krul January 08, 2014 2:23 PM  

Sigyn - Okay, it's about perception, reality, memory, and identity...but also about three-boobed mutants, psychic dudes growing out of other dudes' stomachs, and space fleas from nowhere that left a magical atmosphere maker that somehow doesn't need gravity similar to Earth's to be breathable and is controlled by a guy who would rather risk everyone dying horribly than miss a chance to charge them for oxygen.

True, the original has its share of flaws. Nobody said it was perfect. However, unlike the remake it is not boring, which is why I like it better. The remake just seems like a cynical attempt to squeeze more money out of an already popular title, really. Does it contribute anything conceptually to the story - to the themes of perception/reality and memory/identity - that weren't in the original? Maybe it does, but I don't recall and that's the problem.

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 2:27 PM  

Dude, SPOILER ALERT?

It was his sled!

Soylent Green is made of people!

Snape kills Dumbledore!

The "girlfriend" in "The Crying Game" is a dude!

Darth Vader is Luke's father! And Leia is Luke's sister!

Tyler Durden is the narrator's alter ego!

...Did I miss any other completely obvious spoilers?

Blogger Harold Carper January 08, 2014 2:31 PM  

On the ST:ID thing... I'm an old Star Trek fan, and I hated those scenes. I was really kind of hoping for a Khan win in that one.

Anonymous bob k. mando January 08, 2014 2:33 PM  

Josh January 08, 2014 2:21 PM
Dude, SPOILER ALERT?



so sorry, so sorry, i didn't mean to ruin your reading experience ( i couldn't ruin your movie watching experience because Jackson sucks ).

*drums fingers on table*

perhaps if we had spoiler tags like you've got in REAL forum ...

anyways, i was trying to start a witchhunt for topical name guy. i was hoping to see if you weighed more than a duck.

Anonymous Krul January 08, 2014 2:34 PM  

Sigyn - If your point is just to show people something unreal, then fine. But if you want to talk about something relevant to reality, you have to limit your departures.

"just to show people something unreal"? I'm not saying that fiction should never resemble reality in the slightest degree, Sigyn. I thought that was obvious. I'm saying that art doesn't have to resemble everyday experience to be good (or relevant).

Captain Obvious strikes again.

You are of course referring to yourself with this statement: There are loads of fiction out there that don't have any of those elements, or any "fantastic" elements at all, and they are not boring nor are they nonfiction. That's true. And you know what? The Total Recall remake isn't one of them.

Anonymous Jack Amok January 08, 2014 2:35 PM  

I haven't seen the 2nd Hobbit film yet, but my main complaint about the first is that Jackson seemed to be confused as to whether he was making a movie based on a book by JRRT or a movie based on the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom ride at Disneyland. Oh, goodie, another chase scene...

The BBC Sherlock with Khan as Holmes and Bilbo Baggins as Watson is actually pretty good, though I agree the Moriarity character is lame. One thing I thought they did really well on a couple of episodes was use text-over popups to show what Holmes was seeing as he looked over a crime scene. I thought that brought the super-observant aspect of the Holmes character to life very well, better even than the books did maybe.

The plots of the new series though, are poor, which does seem to be a curse of English detective stories, old and new.

Anonymous Josh January 08, 2014 2:36 PM  

anyways, i was trying to start a witchhunt for topical name guy. i was hoping to see if you weighed more than a duck.

I have not turned anyone into a newt.

Anonymous bob k. mando January 08, 2014 2:39 PM  

Sigyn January 08, 2014 2:27 PM
...Did I miss any other completely obvious spoilers?



Sigyn is a chick ... and doesn't understand the perfectly reasonable male fascination with tri-boobed prostitutes?

boobs, NEVER off topic.

http://www.memecenter.com/search/spoiler

Anonymous map January 08, 2014 2:40 PM  

You are all missing the subversive element of both House and Elementary: they are both stories about brilliant white men teaching minorities and women how to do their jobs.

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 2:41 PM  

The remake just seems like a cynical attempt to squeeze more money out of an already popular title, really. Does it contribute anything conceptually to the story - to the themes of perception/reality and memory/identity - that weren't in the original?

Yes, it leaned less on the perception/reality business and wanted to think some about the ethics of the situation instead. It was more serious and more straightforward. I wouldn't say it was a GREAT movie, but it wasn't one I would object to seeing again.

The first iteration I don't want to see again. It may have been more "fun" if you don't mind a mess, but I don't like a mess, and the physically impossible things were distracting.

Maybe it does, but I don't recall and that's the problem.

That was uncalled for. What did I do to you to deserve a bad pun?

Blogger IM2L844 January 08, 2014 2:46 PM  

There are people who are literally incapable of seeing any two (or more) people (or things) interact without assuming there's "sexual tension".

I suppose we can thank Sigmund Freud for all that ridiculousness.

Sometimes we just want a fishing buddy.

Anonymous freestater January 08, 2014 2:49 PM  

"You are all missing the subversive element of both House and Elementary: they are both stories about brilliant white men teaching minorities and women how to do their jobs."

DATS RACISS!

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 2:57 PM  

I'm saying that art doesn't have to resemble everyday experience to be good (or relevant).

No, it doesn't. However, if you go too far away from what people recognize as real, they're going to focus on the "different". This is why even fantasy novels usually start with a baseline of medieval mishmash and then add elements from there.

If your intent is to draw attention to the "different" and use IT as your plot driver, then okay. But if your point is not tied intimately to those, you will have to seek a careful balance or else you'll never hold the audience's attention long enough.

And then you wind up with people remembering the exploding eyeballs and three-breasted prostitute instead of "what is real, and is identity dependent on memory?"

You are of course referring to yourself with this statement:

No, I was talking about the thing where "if you've added story elements that depart from reality, then you've departed from reality." I got confused. I should have paged the Department of Redundancy Department. I'm sorry.

Anonymous bob k. mando January 08, 2014 2:58 PM  

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was about how feminist women will die hated spinsters, destroy their own families, chase Alphas and kill your long time boyfriend. oh, also they will get their fathers killed by demanding that they be allowed to inappropriately participate in highly dangerous situations.

Anonymous Krul January 08, 2014 3:29 PM  

Sigyn - No, I was talking about the thing where "if you've added story elements that depart from reality, then you've departed from reality." I got confused. I should have paged the Department of Redundancy Department. I'm sorry.

It's not your fault, don't fret. I suppose I could be more clear.

I mean, the remake has fantastic elements too, so it isn't actually any more realistic than the original, is it? Is a CGI third breast more realisitc than a rubber third breast or something?

Anonymous Bohm January 08, 2014 3:32 PM  

Don't worry VD, Bertie Wooster will always be a bally 1920s nincompoop.

These two NYT bods are typical of the ever-present critical noise constantly hand-wringing about the decay of popular culture. So what if certain literary creations lending themselves to updates? Sherlock Holmes was the original Smartest Guy In The Room, but the books themselves weren't literary classics from the off - they were simply exceedingly popular. They're full of plot holes and frankly unbelievable denouements - if Doyle hadn't given us The Rachenbach Falls (spelling?) such a resurrection of Holmes nowadays would be greeted with universal derision -with good reason.

But Sherlock Holmes does seem to be everywhere these day. Three separate reboots running concurrently, while on British TV, constant reruns of the Brett version, the old time radio series all over the web -Rathbone/Bruce, Gielgud/Richardson, Hobbs/ Shelley - take your pick.

Rathbone is my Holmes - even though Bruce's Watson was reduced to a 'comic' travesty. Needless to say, apart from the first two movies, Rathbone was a 40s update. So what? Victorian Holmes is good, as is contemporary Holmes - but Victorian Holmes is more expensive.

For some great literary creations, the original historical milieu is actually the liability.Tarzan being an obvious example -even more hidebound by redundant (read: political incorrect) assumptions than Bond ever was. He's still lurking about in the archives, sure, and the archetype lives on in the Avatar franchise, but Tarzan himself won't be repackaged for the Asian market anytime soon, I dare say.

James Bond is just a Superman action hero. So long as the franchise delivers the bucks, there will be more films. Back in the 1950s, many uptight critics condemned Fleming's potboilers as nasty and prurient. Now, they're held as literary artifacts of a post-colonial malaise.

Superman himself is an artifact of mid-20th c American expectionalism and fascistic Neitzchean hero-worship. Why does no-one blather about his historical milieu amid the constant reboots? Perhaps because American power is still prevalent - unlike the British. In fifty years time, perhaps the fact that Bond has morphed to appeal to a world -wide audience will itself be the subject of critical resonance, rather than carping.

For me Bond means the old Pan paperbacks - up to and including the Raymond Hawkey rebrands - John Barry music and Sean Connery. Daniel Craig was refreshing for a while, but he's not my Bond. But so what if he's more Bourne than Fleming? I can deal with it. If the action sequences are well-crafted, I'm easy. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter.

John Pertwee and Tom Baker are my Dr Who's ( showing my age here) - I can't watch the new ones for more than 5 minutes. You might say I grown out of it. But I don't begrudge the kids their frenetic, shouty new Who. ( although I'm intrigued by the upcoming Calpaldi version). However, sometimes I wish the BBC had the gumption to try a new fantasy flagship show - something meaty, properly SF and not just for kids.

I couldn't care less about Tolkien - or Jackson's movies. I'll watch them, but I won't get my panties in a twist over them.

Shatner was my Kirk -although I have a soft spot for TNG, too. But the JJ Abrams reboots are way, way better than the original movies. IN years to come, they will be preferred to the original movies, because they are slicker, livelier and not pre-CG -for all the liberties and in-jokes.

It's amusing to see people getting precious about Star trek , or Star Wars, for that matter. If you can't reboot ST, what can you reboot? Popular culture has always - always been about reboots, remakes, re-imaginings, from Homer onwards. There are only seven or so basic plot lines, after all.

Blimey, you got me going there, VD! TL;DR version; popular culture isn't moribund - it's just popular.

Anonymous Noah B. January 08, 2014 3:44 PM  

"...Did I miss any other completely obvious spoilers?"

The apes removed the humans' vocal cords. He was really on earth the whole time.

He was still strapped to the chair at Recall dreaming about Blue Sky on Mars. Or was he?

His mother died a long time ago. He was talking to himself the whole time.

They caught a shark -- not the shark. But they kill that one too.

Rollo Tomassi. He's the guy who gets away with it.

Old Yeller and the Great Santini both die.

Bourne lives.

The rebels destroy the Death Star.

The African Queen sinks the Queen Louisa.

Lindsay Lohan gets her own body back. (OK, I'm just guessing on that one, not having seen it.)

Anonymous Bernard Brandt January 08, 2014 3:44 PM  

You are all missing the subversive element of both House and Elementary: they are both stories about brilliant white men teaching minorities and women how to do their jobs.

And this is a bad thing?

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 3:48 PM  

I mean, the remake has fantastic elements too, so it isn't actually any more realistic than the original, is it? Is a CGI third breast more realisitc than a rubber third breast or something?

Okay, well. The one in the first version is due to a "mutation", which by itself is kind of questionable scientifically, but they show it to us several times and it's at least marginally important because the mutants are a BIG DEAL. The one in the second can be attributed to cosmetic surgery and is only a brief moment, after which we can safely forget it and move on.

Yes, I realize that the giant through-the-planet subway is probably impossible. However, it's one of maybe two elements that are improbable/impossible: that and the memory erasure/replacement. The original was so full of weird/improbable/impossible elements that it's hard to list them all.

Which is fine if that's what you want to watch, but let's not pretend it was a deep philosophical work or intended to be taken seriously at all.

Anonymous trekkie January 08, 2014 4:00 PM  

No. We did not.

Anonymous Krul January 08, 2014 4:12 PM  

Re: Sigyn,

Yes, I agree that the remake is at least a bit more plausible in its setting than the original. Plausibility is important for audience engagement, and I can see why you'd find the emphasis on unreal elements in the original distracting.

I still say the original is fun and the remake is dull, though. You know what you're problem is? Too many neurons and not enough boobs. You can drink now, right? That should take care of the former problem.

Anonymous Josh January 08, 2014 4:13 PM  

Which is fine if that's what you want to watch, but let's not pretend it was a deep philosophical work or intended to be taken seriously at all.

No one is pretending this.

There's nothing wrong with saying "I liked this" or "I didn't like that." There's no need to constantly try and justify one's preferences to everyone.

This is just a rehashing of that rites of spring discussion from months ago.

Blogger JCclimber January 08, 2014 4:22 PM  

Well Jack, you're just going to LOVE the Hobbit part 2 river scene.
I'm watching it and thinking it was an almost perfect re-creation of the Wii game where you have to navigate a raft down a river and collect a bunch of stuff on the way down. With zombies, I mean orcs.

Anonymous bob k. mando January 08, 2014 4:30 PM  

Sigyn January 08, 2014 3:48 PM
but let's not pretend it was a deep philosophical work or intended to be taken seriously at all.



oh no you di'in't.

you don't be dissing the Schwarz like that, ho. the Schwarz, he be the one true philospher.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PQ6335puOc

Blogger JCclimber January 08, 2014 4:30 PM  

Tauriel as an insert if just absurd. Tries to insert a "dark elf vs light elf" controversy. Acts as if a 850 year old elf (Legolas is about 900 at the time of LOTR if I recall correctly) is going to be unable to control his feelings. And I don't recall any Tolkien story having the female elves taking up arms (beyond Galadriel leading her armies WITH her husband who wasn't a stoner in the book).

The whole dwarves fighting the dragon with fully functional ancient machinery - Oh, that must be trying to get a future Disneyland ride out of the deal. Should have focused more on the relationship tension between the dwarves and other races, amongst the dwarves, with Bilbo, and with Gandalf seeming to abandon them.

Anonymous Krul January 08, 2014 4:50 PM  

Just to be clear, there's a difference between "realism" and "plausibility" in literature. "Realistic" fiction is similar to our everyday experience. "Plausible" fiction may be very different from our everyday experience, but holds to what we believe to be possible based on our understanding of science and human nature.

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 5:21 PM  

You know what you're problem is? Too many neurons and not enough boobs.

That may be the nicest thing anyone's said to me here. *sniffle*

You can drink now, right? That should take care of the former problem.

Yeah no, heavy drinking and taking care of a baby don't mix. Also, the last time I got drunk, I wound up mailing a bunch of mutant gila monsters to Santa Claus...

Anonymous Sigyn January 08, 2014 5:27 PM  

This is just a rehashing of that rites of spring discussion from months ago.

No, "Rite of Spring" is basically antimusic and anti-culture, and I am not alone in that opinion. I just never got disentangled from "personal opinions" long enough to prove that.

But that is so off-topic we can't go there. Maybe some other time, hmm?

Anonymous bob k. mando January 08, 2014 6:09 PM  

huh.

i'm not big on classical. did Williams rip off 'Rite' for the Close Encounters music?

and is this a spoiler that everybody knows but me?

Anonymous TWS January 08, 2014 6:13 PM  

Sigyn - I know you say you're multitasking. However, I think a pic is necessary. For privacy concerns please do not include your daughter in the pic. We'll just imagine the child on your bare breast. Or you can bare both of them and pretend you have twins I'm not picky.

Anonymous bob k. mando January 08, 2014 6:14 PM  

wow. classy.

Anonymous Tom White January 08, 2014 6:28 PM  

"There are people who are literally incapable of seeing any two (or more) people (or things) interact without assuming there's "sexual tension"."

The TV show Supernatural had two brothers as protagonists and a main theme of the show was family and loyalty and that didn't stop people reading a homosexual undercurrent into their relationship. It is a sad reflection of our sex obsessed society that even two brothers cannot have a close relationship without people viewing it as sexual. It seems that many people are uncomfortable have any form of intimacy that is not based around sex.
Could modern audiences handle the buddy movies of the seventies and eighties redone today? If Lethal weapon were remade today do you think the director would insert uncomfortable sexual tension between Riggs and Murtaugh?

Blogger Feather Blade January 08, 2014 7:09 PM  

Hurr hurr he said "insert" hurr hurr...

No, they wouldn't have to. Hypersexed teeny-boppers with delusions of authorhood and no functional understanding of human biology would do that on their own.

Anonymous bob k. mando January 08, 2014 7:11 PM  

Tom White January 08, 2014 6:28 PM
If Lethal weapon were remade today do you think the director would insert uncomfortable sexual tension between Riggs and Murtaugh?



Joel Schumacher ( queer ) almost killed the Batman franchise with 'Batman and Robin' by using huge codpieces and then lingering on them in camera shots. how did he justify it?

"I had no idea that putting nipples on the Batsuit and Robin suit were going to spark international headlines. The bodies of the suits come from ancient Greek statues, which display perfect bodies. They are anatomically correct."

this is like the interviews with child molesters in prison who, in the process of being 'rehabilitated' see nothing wrong with posting pictures of young males who are quite probably underage on their walls.

Anonymous TWS January 08, 2014 7:35 PM  

Well, I try to class up the joint. You're welcome. Besides the human body is natural, nature comes from God. Why do you hate God?

Anonymous bob k. mando January 08, 2014 8:12 PM  

it's not a question of snark.

it's a question of whether you have any respect for the other commentors.

there's a difference between non-directed, ribald repartee and saying "Tits or GTFO" to a specific woman.

but, ultimately, it's up to Loki and Sigyn as to whether or not they will make you kneel.

Blogger Duke of Earl January 08, 2014 8:37 PM  

The TV show Supernatural had two brothers as protagonists and a main theme of the show was family and loyalty and that didn't stop people reading a homosexual undercurrent into their relationship.

The writers then had a field day putting the characters into an alternate world where Supernatural was a television show and the actors playing the characters were in fact gay. IIRC

Blogger Duke of Earl January 08, 2014 8:38 PM  

Or I might be confusing two different episodes. I didn't follow the series consistently.

Anonymous Tom White January 08, 2014 8:52 PM  

@ duke of earl: in season four after the brothers found the novels written by the prophet they look them up on the net and find out about fanfic and slash fiction.
in season six, after the show jumped the shark, an angel sent them to the real world and sam was married to the woman who played the demon ruby, his real life wife, and dean was a friendless loser. No hint of gay characters. It could have come later as i stopped watching the show after the end of season 5.

Anonymous Tom White January 08, 2014 8:59 PM  

Supernatural was a very red pill show. Two brothers, both white, fighting evil, banging hot girls, driving around in a muscle car with the most awesome tv soundtrack ever. No gay characters. No unbelievably super strong butt kicking female characters, except for demons. Strong female character = middle aged midwest widow looking out for her daughter. No recurring token minority characters who are presented as wise.
White working class, mid west heroes full of self doubt. Their father is a mechanic and their substitute father figure is a scrap dealer.
The devil is defeated by brotherly love and self sacrifice...a suprisingly conservative and christian theme for a mainstream tv show...especially one that began ten years ago.

Anonymous TWS January 08, 2014 9:43 PM  

Bob mando - it was a joke as you noted and if I in any way hurt your feelings I do apologize. If you're done white knighting perhaps you can show me where I wrote tits or GTFO? If not you can eat a dick. Now that is a direct insult to someones dick and I'll apologize to him later.

If the lady or her husband are offended I'll take my lumps. You, not so much.

Anonymous bob k. mando January 08, 2014 10:59 PM  

now that's what i call sincerity.

Anonymous AdognamedOp January 09, 2014 12:40 AM  

"The new Star Trek movies are better than the originals in many ways, in fact, some of their worst aspects are their determination to insert callbacks to their predecessors. No doubt Trekkies found it totally sweet when whoever it was shouted "KHAAAAAAN" just like the other guy did in the movie before him. I just rolled my eyes."


I laughed and said, "no they didn't" at the Khan scream. That's why the original movies are better. Memorable scenes like Shatners scream echoing across space wont happen in JJ's new timeline altered series; where he's free to vandalize any originality.
ST:ID was a laughable allegory to the war on terror with Khan as Bin laden and Pete Weller(Robocop) as a Rumsfeld type character. The 72 (virgins?) members of Khans crew locked inside WMD's was hilariously blatant.
I had to re-watch the original Khan episode just to make my mind right after seein ST:ID.
That episode alone will probably outshine the JJ Abrams franchise in the long run.

Anonymous Just Another Guy With a 1911 January 09, 2014 12:48 AM  

"1) Dredd fans if you have not seen Judge Minty - www.judgeminty.com/‎ worth a look - fan made film, same universe, different character."

Wow, Karl, thank you. That was two steps beyond awesome. I've been a Dredd fan since Eagle Comics started publishing them here in the U.S. in the 1980's. The greatest comic book find my teenage self ever made was a cache of old black and white Progs piled in the corner of my LCS, bound up with twine. God knows how they ended up in my little corner of the world. Minty is a great character; I remember a Prog I picked up at a newsagent in IRL that has great story where Joe is being uncharacteristically doubtful and Minty tells him his boots are too tight! He was always an interesting contrast to Dredd and, despite his different outlook on what the "law" was about - Dredd did respect him. Anyway, I always like a Judge Minty story. In fact, I am pretty sure I remember the Prog. where he actually takes the long walk; it is good to see what happened next. For me, he is up there with Cassandra Anderson and Judge "Clear the Tubes, Dudes" Giant.

One thing that did jump out at me - the "Judge Minty" fan film probably has even more verisimilitude with the 2000 AD comics than the Karl Urban Dredd, e.g., the fact that an "average" Judge (especially one with 30 or so years on the street) is still really, really dangerous, a Lawgiver is a great force multiplier, mutants, "cursed earth" weirdness, the design of vehicles, uniforms, buildings, and, heck, we even got a glimpse of "Chopper." I am not being critical,though, the Karl Urban Dredd was *great*, and he certainly captured the character, but it lacked the futuristic luster of the comics, which somewhat incongruously, given how much else it got wrong, and I mean really wrong, the Stallone version got right).

Anyway, what can you say: Judge Minty - he was Peace Officer, not just a no knock warrant serving, dog executing, wanna be "operator" - he didn't retire to FLA. at 50 with a full pension. Nope, he took the long walk.

Anonymous The CronoLink January 09, 2014 3:45 AM  

a law enforcer who applies Arnaud Amalric's approach to the detective arts

Disrupt them, let God reassemble the particles?

Thus we have Watson transformed into an Asian woman and Holmes depicted as a gay vampire

.....the hell? Just what have you been watching?

Also, I thought the new Judge Dredd film was pretty cool, I blame it's poor performance on its unnecessarily extreme graphical violence and shoddy marketing.

Blogger Paul, Dammit! January 09, 2014 8:36 AM  

Yeah, but Lucy Liu. More specifically, "Elementary" is a fine vehicle to showcase her legs.

Anonymous Sigyn January 09, 2014 8:58 AM  

a suprisingly conservative and christian theme for a mainstream tv show...

Fornication is neither conservative nor Christian. And, from what I've read, God is mysteriously absent from that universe, so a bunch of angels are bumbling around, trying to keep things going.

Brotherly love doesn't defeat Satan. Truth does. That's Jesus. Does He appear in the series, or is He also conveniently, mysteriously unmentioned (except as a swear word)?

Anonymous Sigyn January 09, 2014 9:01 AM  

@ bob:

Thank you for your intervention. I am forbidden from interacting with TWS until he apologizes for treating me like a whore; that way, His Lordship doesn't have to kill him for trying to seduce me. I thought it was a good compromise.

Blogger Feather Blade January 09, 2014 12:48 PM  

The cosmology in Supernatural is utterly screwed-up (to the point that I find it mostly unwatchable). All mythoi are true (except for actual Christianity) and Sam and Dean are non-believers that use Latin scripture to banish demons. Since they use the words, but have no faith in the truth of it; this effectively puts the scriptures they read on the same level as magic spells.

Is it in no way a Christian series. They've just co-opted some of the trappings of Christianity because of the cultural heritage of their audience.

Blogger Feather Blade January 09, 2014 1:06 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous bob k. mando January 09, 2014 1:34 PM  

Sigyn January 09, 2014 9:01 AM
Thank you for your intervention.



*tips hat*

my greetings to his lordship ( no, i'm not going to capitalize that ). felicitations to the little squish.



just to recap:
TWS uses his freedom of expression to tell Sigyn to show him her boobs.
bobk uses his freedom of expression to comment "wow. classy."

and bobk is the asshole in this situation.

i think i can live with that.

Blogger Baloo January 10, 2014 12:46 PM  

Sometimes such things work, and sometimes they don't. I, for one, am quite fond of the current incarnation of Holmes. Partly it's because Holmes is so firmly set in our consciousness that fiddling with him that way can't diminish him. But I agree that most such remakes are useless. Related to this, Philip Jose Farmer was good at creating characters, but his stuff was, I think, even better when he used other people's characters.

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