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George Lucas is Done

If Red Tails doesn’t take off, that’ll be it for him. Here’s why:

What the blistering fan reaction illustrates is one downside of Lucas’s naïve style. By persuading us to drop our snarky defenses and embrace his fables, Lucas had forged a bond with fanboys like no filmmaker, outside of Spielberg, before or since. (Adjusted for inflation, the three original “Star Wars” movies and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” still rank among the top 20 highest-grossing movies of all time.) But naïveté is a fragile emotion. When Lucas goes back and futzes with his mythology — has Greedo shoot first or creates a goofball like Jar Jar Binks or makes Indy uncool by sticking him in a refrigerator — he isn’t just messing with beloved movies. He’s telling fanboys the naïve belief they gave to him was misplaced.

In other words, the spell is broken, and the guy who made the mother of all popcorn films doesn’t understand that you can’t screw with people’s nostalgia and expect them to forgive it. Instead of getting that, he rails about the movies being his — with his name on them. Which is as true as it is irrelevant.

Because you can only keep shoveling garbage for so long before people get wise. If the prequels were half as good as Empire Strikes Back, then Red Tails would not be getting dissed by the studios. But since Lucas has spent the last fifteen years doing everything in his power to stick his finger in the eyes of the very people who should be his bulwark against the studios, no one cares about watching more CGI pixelations explode against a matte painting. Everyone would rather see Warhorse.

I don't care. It still needs to be said.

Oxfordians: The Birthers of the Elizabethan Renaissance

I have long wearied of the tiresome assertion that Shakespeare did not write Shakespeare. This phillipic by Ron Rosenbaum against the cinematic albatross Anonymous is three months old, but punctures the key argument of the Oxford fantasy:

In the opening, our fancy-pants British narrator (Derek Jacobi) tells us disdainfully that Shakespeare only had a “grammar school” education, disingenuously concealing the fact that the typical “grammar school” of the time, such as the one in Shakespeare’s hometown Stratford, had graduates who had learned how to translate and compose verse in Latin. Can you compose verse in Latin? How many American poets can? How many Oxfordians can even read Latin? As Simon Schama, the British historian, put it recently:

“Grammar school,” which means elementary education in America, was in fact a cradle of serious classical learning in Elizabethan England. By the time he was 13 or so, Shakespeare would have read (in Latin) works by Terence, Plautus, Virgil, Erasmus, Cicero, and probably Plutarch and Livy too. One of the great stories of the age was what such schooling did for boys of humble birth.

So, if someone of Shakespeare’s education could have written those plays, then does it not violate Ockham’s Razor to insist that another man wrote them? What, besides simply snobbery, does Oxfordianism satisfy?

Russel Brand Too Kinky for Katy Perry

Or so the rumour mill reports. (h/t: The Other McCain)

“He likes dirty things,” the source says. “He really gets off on one particular porno with a guy in a wheelchair. He’s attracted to things he can’t imagine happening to him.” Adding that Russell had a closet full of sex toys.

We then get the counter-intuitive claim that Russel bailed because he wanted to settle down and start a family.

A wheelchair family.

It has long been observed that lust and fetishes have a ratcheting effect. Once you  indulge them, you cannot go back to a place where they are un-indulged. They become a crutch.

So something designed to augment sexual excitement ends up weakening it. Hilarity ensues.

Oh, God! You Genial, Liberal Fellow

DaTechGuy, guest-blogging at FilmLadd, discusses an old movie with an old actor in an old role as an example of Buckley’s indoctrination:

Now, I wouldn’t expect Carl Reiner to give an endorsement to Christianity, but note what he does. All religions are equal, all are valid, there is no “truth”, none of that “Thou shalt have no other Gods but me” stuff. The generic answers given by the “God” in this movie could be, and is given by new age gurus of today who makes the same kind of money that the Reverend Williams does.

No truth, no worship, you don’t need prayer, just know I’m here but I really don’t matter and have nothing to do about it, so unless you are the ’69 Mets, the last miracle God in the movie says he did, don’t bother asking. It’s so simple, the message of Oh, God becomes: “People don’t really don’t need a God”, but that message is delivered in a way so subtle and so discreet that unless someone points it out you can’t see yourself absorbing it. Buckley would have been impressed.

I suppose that’s why I always agreed with South Park’s placement of George Burns in Hell.

Indiana Jones and the Blah of Whatever

Everyone and their dog has taken a shot at the most recent Indiana Jones movie, and rightfully so. Compared to the original trilogy, it’s a staid, bizarre bore. But what’s really wrong with it, at heart?

Well, Red Letter Media has issued its own 2-Part Plinkett Review, which covers the basics: Speilberg Ideas, good; Lucas Ideas, bad. It also suggests that all the principals involved (Ford, Speilberg, Lucas) have lost their mojo, and no longer have the guts to show guts, gore, or possibly offensive things.

That may be well and perfectly true. But I think the real problem is that the fourth movie suffers from this:

Continue reading → Indiana Jones and the Blah of Whatever

Grouchy People Hate on Christina Hendricks

Apparently she of the Hourglass Figure did a shoot for Johnny Walker, which involved pictures like this:

She has breasts, she does.

Which has provoked all manner of hate from chicken-chested girls and the Caspar Milquetoasts who love them. No, that’s unfair. Just a lot of wearisome snark from people who have been trained never to let something out of the ordinary go by without comment.

Johnny Walker tastes like liquified paint chips, anyway.

UPDATE: Doug Winship salutes the Marketing.