Tag Archives: Celebrities

An Android’s Dream: The Legacy of Blade Runner

Released in 1982, Blade Runner remains a pillar of science fiction standing shoulder to shoulder with the Star Wars series, The Muppet Movie, Tremors, Lawnmower Man and Jumper as being one of the greatest sci-fi worlds ever visualized on screen. With the release of the long-awaited sequel, Blade Runner 2049: Blade Runnest, it’s time to look back at director Ridley Scott’s original masterpiece to find out how it was made and why it remains a beloved film.

A Novel Idea
Based on the Philip K. Dick novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, which itself was based on the Presbyterian hymn “Jesus Don’t Make No Robots,” the movie took audiences members on a tour of the future and dared to asked the important question: Are flying cars filled with helium?

After the success of Star Wars, Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz, Hollywood was chomping at the bit to make another fantasy science fiction film, and Dick’s novel, about a futuristic cop and a surf contest to save the old library, was perfectly suited for the big screen. British director Ridley Scott, hot of the success of Alien was brought on board to bring the project to life.

“Before that, I had never heard of Blade Runner,” said Scott in a graduation speech he was rehearsing in front of a mirror. “I had never heard of it because the term ‘Blade Runner’ isn’t in the book. In the book, the cops are called ‘Gun Boys’ and so we had to come up with a new name. And just then my cousin’s toddler Benny came in and he was trying to say ‘Parade Plumber’ — I don’t know why — but he was trying to say it. But he had a speech thing because he was a toddler. So it sounded like Blade Runner. And I paid him $4 for that idea, which is a lot of money for a toddler so I really don’t feel bad about that.” Continue reading An Android’s Dream: The Legacy of Blade Runner

Wow, Bob, Wow! A Spoiler-Free Review of the First Two New Twin Peaks Episodes

There are four episodes of the new Twin Peaks available right now for streaming from Showtime. I’ve seen only the first two. I’m tempted (so very tempted) to go ahead and binge episodes 3 and 4 but I will do my best to keep those episodes floating above my head in the WiFi…for now.

I need to savor this.

Writer/director David Lynch is 71. It is a very real possibility that this will be his last major filmmaking project. I hope it isn’t. I hope he keeps making movies well into his 100s. But…this could be it. Lynch’s previous film, the impenetrable but interesting Inland Empire, was released 11 years ago. Do the math and check the calendars. This could be it. It might be the grand finale of his decade-spanning career. So I don’t want to waste it.

If you can’t tell by now, here’s the review of the first two episodes: I love them. For two hours I watched Lynch (and co-writer Mark Frost) ooze out a surreal mystery that was familiar and strange. It was scary and funny. I’m still thinking about it. All of it. I don’t get it. I don’t really want to get it. I just love it.

People will look for meanings to the imagery, and there are meanings…and double meanings, triple meanings, etc., but there’s also a joy in letting each scene play out like its own short film. If you have trouble understanding it, that’s okay. At the risk of sounding like a hippy: Just let it wash over you, man.

People may not like this new Twin Peaks. It’s not like the old show. Some people just want the show. And Lynch understands that, in his own wonderful way.

Without spoiling much of anything, there’s an early scene in the first episode of two people watching a glass box waiting for something to happen. Something happens to them. If you can’t see the metaphor and subtext of this scene, get out now. This is not for you. IT’S FOR ME!

There will no doubt be dozens of websites popping up that will try to unravel the mystery. There will be YouTube videos of fans picking apart every detail in every scene. And I’ll probably visit these sites over the next few months, if only to catch a better glimpse of a still from an episode or to read the comments. But, and this is important, I’m not sure the whole thing will add up to a reasonable conclusion. I don’t expect that. Then again, Lynch loves to subvert expectations. Who knows? Maybe the final episode of this return will solve all the mysteries succinctly and with sound logic. That’d be different.

I’m letting episodes 3 and 4 alone this week. I’ll watch them later. I’m going to slowly sip this cup of coffee instead of chugging it, because it’s a damn fine cup of coffee but there’s no promise of refills.

For more information on my David Lynch mancrush, read about the time I interviewed Lynch and babbled like a dork. For more information on my Twin Peaks theories, unlock the front door and I will sneak into your bedroom and whisper my thoughts while you slumber.

My Favorite Tom Hanks Movies

Few actors have a career like that of Tom Hanks. It wasn’t easy to make this list, since there are so many long-forgotten gems in the VHS box. But after careful study, here are my favorite Hanks films.

Saving Private Ryan
Such an honest performance of a man fighting a war out of a sense of honor and duty. He doesn’t want to be there, but thank God he is.

Forrest Gump
How can you not fall in love with America’s charming man-child as he hijacks history.

Toy Story 2
Better than the original? Just barely!

Electric Dad
He’s the dad we all wanted, and the robot we all needed. He was robbed of an Oscar for this one.

Disney’s Catcher in the Rye
A new character was added to the dull and dreary story of Holden Caulfield, and who better to play Holden’s funny and lighthearted chauffeur than Hanks himself! Hanks’ character, Mr. Blythe, uttered the now-iconic line, “You keep Holden on to those dreams, Mr. Caulfield.” One of cinema’s most beautiful death scenes.

Slow Down, Vanessa!
He’s a nerdy helicopter pilot. She’s a college senior on Spring Break who wants to take a flying lesson. And we’re just along for the ride in this early entry into the Hanks oeuvre. Continue reading My Favorite Tom Hanks Movies

The Book That Changed My Life

You see a piece of art, hear a piece of music, see a movie or read a book that cracks the shell of your mind and lets the real you emerge. It’s more than being inspired; it’s finding out who you are. There is a time before that experience and a time after that experience, and it shapes the rest of your life. It happened to me while reading Steve Martin’s Cruel Shoes.

By my senior year in high school I was well-versed in the history of comedy. I had old Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner routines memorized. I knew every beat of George Carlin’s 7 Dirty Words bit. And I listened to The Buttoned-Down Mind of Bob Newhart more than I listened to Nirvana’s Nevermind — and this was in the mid-90s so you know how cool I was. Continue reading The Book That Changed My Life

Daily Transmission #19: The Best Thing About Wolverine

Wolverine is a terrible character.

I’ve written about this before but with the new trailer for Logan hitting the internet today, it seems like a good time to harp on about it. Besides, if I don’t write about Wolverine, I’ll be forced to write about politics and as the young kids say when grandma asks about iPhones, “I just can’t.”

So…Wolverine!

To sum up my feeling on the character: Wolverine, like Boba Fett or Hannibal Lecter, is a character who works wonderfully when limited to a few key scenes. The moment he becomes the star, the spotlight shows all his imperfections. And no amount of healing power can wipe away the wounds of poor character motivation. Continue reading Daily Transmission #19: The Best Thing About Wolverine

Daily Transmission #5: Must-See Movies of 2017

Pop the corn and get ready! Here are the best films to see in 2017.

Star Wars Episode VIII: Force It
Who are Rey’s parents? What does the Force taste like? Does Luke have secrets? What is BB-8’s origin story? What are the names of every stormtrooper? Where on the sexuality spectrum does Boba Fett live? Can Yoda be in this one? How about two Death Stars at the same damn time!? Is Kylo Ren a ghost? All will be answered!

Back to the Future: Rise of Time
In this all-female reboot, teenager Martha McFly must travel back to 1985 to make sure her parents fall in love at prom. 80s references galore! The movie exists outside of the original movie, and yet there are references to the original movie so that audiences will be left confused. The trailer gives away the only funny joke, which is about Donald Trump being president in 2017.

Untitled PG-13 Movie Starring The Rock
The Rock plays Craig or maybe Eli — a cop (or dentist? or renegade soldier?) who tilts his head often and says, “Not today, bub.” Plot involves jumping/falling from helicopters and a car flips over. Soundtrack relies heavily on 80s pop rock, though the trailer makes great use of “Who Let the Dogs Out.” Kevin Hart is there, also. Movie is somehow based on an old TV show that everyone vaguely remembers. (Not sure what show yet. Doesn’t really matter. Whatever’s available. Maybe China Beach, or Northern Exposure?)

Continue reading Daily Transmission #5: Must-See Movies of 2017