Friday, September 16, 2011

Top 10 ways George Lucas is a Jerk

Ok, Ok, maybe he's not a JERK.  I don't know him personally, but I am attached to one of his creations.  You might have heard of it?  Captain EO?  No, of course it's Star Wars (Yes he DID do Captain EO as well).  This was one of the seminal movies of my youth and I believe I am not alone.  There are many who consider it an integral part of the entertainment past.

Anyway.  What he created was a real gem.  In it's original form, it was breathtaking.  But over time he has proven one of my personal theories:  Any geek/nerd given enough power will become a domineering overlord to all those within his sphere of influence.  In fact I would not be surprised if he wanted this blog entry quashed except that it is so small and relatively unread that he might not care at all.  might.  Not all of my complaints listed will be his fault directly, but rather since it's his name primarily attached to the production, I will blame him either for instituting or for not stopping the following...

10.  Jake Lloyd - The kid was just not a very good actor.  The first movie to revisit the Star Wars franchise and young Jake was the best thing you could find?  I heard people say 'Well Haley Joel Osmint was busy'.  What, the young Haley the ONLY good child actor?  This role is the beginning of a major character of 6 movies.  Give it a little more thought than that.

9.  Japanese Trade federation? -  Sure there are only a few good accents you can put into a movie before they start getting silly.  Add to that the fact that we've never heard actual aliens speak.  But still.  They sounded like a bad Jerry Lewis bit.  I'm sure Japan is used to American movies slurring them left and right, but I thought it was kind of tacky.

8.  Ewoks   EEEECH - This was really the first problem I had with any of the movies.  Star Wars was ground breaking.  Empire Strikes back was amazing.  Return or the Jedi was exciting, but those little care bears running around were bad news.  First the idea that a bunch of little fuzz balls are going to fend off the empire and their increasingly clumsy storm troopers is just silly.  It would be like pitting one of those South American tribes that has never seen civilization against the US army.  It just wouldn't work.  couple that with the fact that you already had a good bunch of characters to use in the Wookies.  This move stunk of 'gimmie money' pure and simple.

7.  NOOOOOOOOO! - Revenge of the Sith.  A very dark movie.  Fairly disturbing.  and then toward the end of it...Some kind of strange 'homage' to Frankenstein that cresendo's with the newly christened Darth Vader half screaming 'NOOOOOOOOO'.  Except it sounds pathetic.  probably the idea.  But honestly, was this the real point at which Anakin Realized he'd made a wrong turn?  Not the killing of the younglings?  ick.  that whole scene went pear shaped because of that moan.

6.  Jar Jar Binks - What the @&+$!p is this?!  It's like Lucas was a huge fan of the Police Academy movies or something.  I was such an apologist for the movie at the time that I had constructed a whole idea around which Jar Jar works.  See if you like this.  Jar Jar was another example of how the Force works.  Just because he was untrained didn't mean he didn't have midichlorians (the bugs that transmit and respond to the Force).  While he was naturally clumsy, everything seemed to always work out for him.  It's an example of untamed Force in him.  Nope, sorry, he was just meant to be a strange pidgin english goofball that only served to screw things up.  Sigh...I liked my story better.

5.  NOOOOOOOOO Again -  This is actually what spurred this blog.  You see.  it's not enough that the first ill fated NOOOOOOOOO graced the movie in Revenge of the Sith.  Now Lucas has gone back to one of the most poignant scenes in Return of the Jedi and inserted another NOOOOOOO as Darth Vader is turned back to the light side of the force.  Completely un-necessary, and ruins another scene.  I think it was put in to lend credence and continuity to Anakin's first NOOOOOOO.

4.  Darth Vader in Love...ugh - Dear George Lucas.  You made a great framework that will remain in our popular culture for the forseeable future.  It will shape many things to come.  Congratulations.  That being said. have you ever been on a date?  The love scenes that deal with the courtship between Anakin Skywalker and Queen Amidala are nothing if not vapid.  If you are going to 'fix' anything, you could fix that...with a pair of scissors.

3.  How many times are you going to release this thing?! - Lord of the Rings has done this as well.  the multiple releases of the same movie that I've already purchased.  What?  You added some special effects to cover up for the production gaffes?  great.  was that every time?  sheesh.  how many times will I buy something I like?  I can tell you right now, not THAT many times.

2.  I've got a bad feeling about this - I think they should rename the latest Blu-ray release of the Star Wars saga to Star Wars...I've got a bad feeling about this.  The line has been said in every movie.  Unfortunately it's an obvious enough line that it sticks out like a sore thumb.  It's even in the cartoons.  I understand putting in a reference that ties all the movies together, but it's unnecessary and kind of cheesy.

1.  Han shot FIRST! - My biggest gripe of the bunch.  Han Solo was a scoundrel that was turned honorable.  In order to do that, he has to be a scoundrel FIRST.  But NOOOOOOOOOOO (see what I did there?)  It seems that Han is such a hero that we have to make it so he killed Greedo in RESPONSE to Greedo's ill aimed blaster shot (at point blank range I might add.  Not much of a bounty hunter if you ask me), missing Han and then getting his comeuppance.  Edited, the whole thing is as clumsy as Jar Jar Binks and just as annoying.  They should at least have an option in the Blu-Ray to allow Han Shoots first option on the view.  Kind of like 'Include director commentary'  But George Lucas can't possibly be wrong in this.  It's his creation so he can ruin it if he likes.

That's enough Griping for 15 days, thanks for tuning in! I really do appreciate it!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

10 things that make us uncomfortable

One of the things I like to do in my blog is try to figure out what people are really like and what they think.  When animals get uncomfortable, it's because they think they are going to die.  So they get nervous and they become not very cuddly.  When humans get uncomfortable, they show it in nervous laughter, sometimes they run, sometimes they get aggressive.  In fact, we have a whole range of emotions to cover the different things that make us uncomfortable either physically or mentally.  So here are a few of the things that make us uncomfortable.

10.  Silence.  -  Nature hates a vacuum.  Boy is that ever true.  blank space, dead air.  Whatever you call it.  It's a silence that happens in the middle of a conversation that kills the rest of it.  Sometimes it happens because someone has come clod-hopping in and said something like 'How about that Idiot Obama' to a group of NAACP boosters.  Then the silence.  Then the beatings.  Other times we get it because everything that needed to be said on the subject has been said and nobody wants to venture to a new topic.  This happens a lot on early dates.

9.  Talking out of turn - It's not really that it's not your turn to talk, it's that it never should have been your turn to talk at all.  You see.  I've been accused of liking to hear myself talk.  This is by people that I assume hate to hear themselves talk and then in a close second, me. Often the act of talking out of turn will in turn bring on number 10.  It happens when you either talk over someone's story or try to dominate the conversation and then you say something ill informed.  OFTEN followed by number 10.

8.  TMI - Too Much Information. This is like talking out of turn, but instead it's providing more personal information than people are really comfortable hearing.  It's usually done when people don't realize the amount of collective comfort that everyone has in the group. 

7.  Do you mind if I go Blue? - This happens to people that are used to the company of one sort of people (Truckers, Lumberjacks, Politicians).  They find that the parlance that is not only accepted but expected is nothing of the sort with another group of people. This one can happen inadvertently when you go out to dinner with your office group and people let their hair down a bit.  All of the sudden some people are not comfortable at all with the rough language that they would never dream would come out of the mouths of co-workers.  So my advice?  Don't swear in a group that you are new to.  Yes, it's obvious, but maybe not.  Also, understand that in some areas there are words or phrases that approach a gray area that you might not suspect.  This would include talking about bodily functions.

6.  Pardon ME! - Speaking of bodily functions.  Very few things will take wind out of the room like if you break it.  The wind that is.  Yes, yes, I know, if it eats, it poops, and if it poops, it farts.  But I promise, there are many groups of people that would rather sit silently ignoring the by-product of your sins of emission rather than acknowledge the broken breeze. 

5.  So when's the baby due? - I have another whole blog on questions that should never be asked.  This fits nicely under the category of making other people uncomfortable.   This is usually a mistake of youth, but most certainly not exclusive to it.  Wrong questions or questions that are too probing will make all in the room squirm.

4.  He sang solo, solo he's a base  - This is an amazing bit of discomfort that happens when you hear someone singing in public.  probably one of the scariest things that anyone can do that isn't potentially lethal.  If you have ever been in the audience for someone that was not prepared to take the lead and you heard a series of bad notes you can almost hear everyone shifting in their seats.

3.  The Gumball Machine - On a different note, you feel very uncomfortable when you see the red and blue lights of your local constabulary come on.  The first thing you do is look at your speed and then check your registration.  This only takes 1.3 seconds.  After that you change lanes hoping he doesn't change with you.  It really doesn't matter at this point if you were the target or not.  You got ZINGED.

2.  THUMP THUMP -  After watching a bunch of ghost hunter type shows I was intrigued to find out that a certain low level vibration that can not be heard, CAN in fact be felt and it automatically puts you ill at ease.  It got better when they did an experiment where they took an old house and put a vibration generator in a part of it and then brought in two groups of people to walk the house and give their impressions.  One group the thumper was turned on, the other had nothing.  The groups were then asked about their impressions of the house.  No mention of ghosts or paranormal was a part of the experiment.  nearly all of the people that were in the thump group reported that they felt like the house was haunted and that they had seen things.  The other group felt like the house could use some fixing up.  So bottom line, low frequency vibrations make you uncomfortable.

1.  BOO! -I don't know about you, but when I get startled, especially when it's somewhere I'm not supposed to be startled.  It makes me jumpy nearly all day after that.  Just someone making a really loud noise in a place that you don't expect loud noises (like work) makes everyone uncomfortable for at least another hour. 

Sure there are LOTS of things that make people uncomfortable, but I think these 10 are familiar to all.  Thanks for reading!