2 Comments

  • fuwalda says:

    Oh man. In the fifteen years or so that I’ve known you, you’ve never shut up about Nowhere Man! I’ve never actually seen an entire episode of this show, but I remember catching a few minutes of the first episode. Bruce Greenwood is always good. In fact, he’s always great. I remember watching Thirteen Days a few weeks ago for the hundredth or so time and thinking that it would be amazing if somebody had made a West Wing style show about the Kennedy presidency staring Bruce Green wood as JFK and Steven Culp as Bobby.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    heh. I didn’t think I was that bad. I thought I was being good–I haven’t talked about it in years!

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Nowhere Man

Donald’s recent review of the new TV series The Event got me thinking about the one scene from that show that I watched, which involved a man attempting to go back to his hotel room to see his girlfriend only to discover that there was no record of his ever having stayed in the hotel and no trace of his girlfriend. This triggered a memory of a 15 year-old series that ran for exactly one full season on the fledgling United Paramount Network. The series, called Nowhere Man, starred Bruce Greenwood as a photojournalist whose life is literally erased after seeing something he wasn’t meant to see.

As I remember it, he goes to dinner with his wife, steps away for two minutes to use the restroom, and when he returns, she has disappeared, and nobody will acknowledge she was ever there. And it only gets worse. When he finally does manage to get back to his house, his wife answers the door with another man at her side, and she claims to have no idea who Greenwood is. And so it goes…

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  • fuwalda says:

    I think it’s cute that your dreams are fan fiction.

    But I think you should delete this post on the off chance that Spielberg reads it and thinks it sounds like a good idea to make this awful movie. Heh. No offense.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    Well, I figure Spielberg already made War of the Worlds, so he’s probably not interested in doing another alien invasion film.

    Though, maybeeee…this would make a good episodic story, like a television series.

  • Hey, if they can bring back Bill & Ted’s excellent adventure for the third time 20 yrs later – why not?

    Btw – totally jealous of your dreams! My dreams are very dumb.

  • Anna says:

    let’s film it!

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    For a while, all of my dreams were essentially surreal action films. Some of them, I swear, even played out like sequels to other dreams I had. The other week, my wife found this dream journal I kept for about two seconds maybe ten years ago. One of the dreams was literally just an invented episode of the cartoon series Dragon Ball Z. She thought that was hilarious.

  • fuwalda says:

    It’d be funny if the notes your therapists takes during your sessions were just for some series of sci-fi novels he’s writing based on your weird dreams. That in and of itself might be a funny idea for a movie.

  • fuwalda says:

    And for all we know that *was* the plot of War of the Worlds. You should write the backstory where it turns out that ET was protecting Tom Cruise’s character from behind the scenes (because he saw him out of his viewscreen and was reminded of Elliot) until he finally perfected his virus that wiped out all of the bad aliens.

    And what happened in that room in the cabin with Tom Cruise and Tim Robbins? ET showed up and killed that guy, of course.

  • fuwalda says:

    When you make this movie, I want an associate producer credit.

  • fuwalda says:

    Also, as long as we’re just spit-balling ideas here, I’d love to work in a role for John MacClane. Why not?

    In fact, forget the whole ET angle and have it be about the third Gruber brother who comes gunning for McClane to avenge the deaths of Hans and Simon. Turns out, the Grubers are actually aliens from the planet Gruber, which was secretly colonized by Nazis during WWII. Hitler made a pact with the indigenous species and began transporting members of the Aryan race to Gruber after it became clear that the Third Reich was doomed. Hitler himself went there as well and quickly reneged on his agreement with the aliens and enslaved them all. The third Gruber brother, Claus Gruber, kidnapped McClane and brought him to the planet Gruber, where he eventually meets up with the alien resistance force and frees the planet, kills the Nazis, and smashes the brain of Hitler that is now living in his reanimated, cyborg body.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    With an imagination like that, you don’t even need to dream.

    That really seems like something that might have made more sense on the original Star Trek.

  • fuwalda says:

    The original Die Hard was supposed to be an intergalactic space opera, but they ran out of money so they had it take place in one building instead. True story.

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E.T., the Return

So I had a dream last night that E.T. was real, and that his journey to Earth had been a scouting mission as a precursor to colonization. So they came back in vast numbers, enslaved humans, and now E.T. is leading the resistance force against his own people.

Somebody do something with that.

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  • Ha! Thanks for the the links! *raises keystone beer can* Cheers!

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    I respect anybody who’s equally or more dedicated than I am to pontificating upon really pointless stuff. 😉

  • fuwalda says:

    I’ve never seen one of these commercials before, but this one made me smile. This guy has good delivery. I’ve also never tried Keystone Light, but you two don’t make it sound as though it would be very good.

    As somebody who never drank at all in college (as you’ll remember, since you didn’t either.), I’ve gained an appreciation for beer over the past few years. Maybe it’s because I live in the Midwest now and it’s pretty much mandatory that I have to drink beer, eat Swedish meatballs, and watch hockey. If I can do all three at the same time, all the better. My point it… I dunno. I lost it.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    When I was growing up, I don’t remember ever even seeing a beer unless we were having company or something. Now, whenever I go home, the fridge is always well stocked with it. Maybe my parents were abstaining for our benefit. It didn’t work, though, since both of my brothers are rampant beer drinkers now.

    I don’t know…I’d rather drink juice.

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Article

Keith Stone

So you’ve probably seen these Keystone Light commercials featuring Keith Stone. They’re amusing, but I always wondered why this trailer park dweller is supposed to be the epitome of smooth. I understand that incongruity can be funny, but the concept has, regardless, always been a head-scratcher for me. Thankfully, this blogger illuminates the matter. Apparently, Keystone Light is the beer of choice for poor, white trash. Since I think all beer tastes like cat piss, I had no idea.

I’m mostly doing this post as an excuse to link to that blog post, because I find it kind of hilarious. I love that she wrote up a page-long criticism of a series of beer commercials explaining all of the irony and subtext therein. That kind of dedication to the analysis of the most trivial and fleeting examples of pop culture warrants linkage.

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  • fuwalda says:

    I meant to watch this. I like that guy from Lost and I liked the original well enough. But I lost track of time and forgot about it until halfway through. Maybe I can watch it online or something. Or skip it.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    Worth watching at least once, I’d say. Worth it for Scott Caan.

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Hawaii Five-0

Here’s the two minute review on the new Hawaii Five-0 series.

I’m ambivalent about it. On the one hand, Scott Caan has proven that he’s a much better actor than you probably realized. He’s extremely funny and steals every scene that he’s in. On the other hand, Alex O’Loughlin is just a drab action hero type. The straight man in a buddy cop show doesn’t have to be a total stiff–shouldn’t be a total stiff, to be sure. Lethal Weapon taught us that.

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  • fuwalda says:

    Yeah, that didn’t bother me. What bothered me about this clip is that it wasn’t funny. Bill Maher is usually funnier than this.

    Also… your wife is pregnant?! That just blew my mind. Congratulations. Seems an odd place for me to tell you that, but I mean it wholeheartedly.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    Bill Maher can be a downer when he shows up on Larry King. I think he’s getting worse, actually. These days he pretty much thinks everybody sucks. He’s still in good form on Real Time, though. At least, when he’s not being a smug asshole.

    I like Bill Maher, to be sure, but sometimes he can be so smugly aggressive even when it’s clear he has little idea what he’s talking about. On so many things, though, I think he speaks with a sort of enviable clarity I wish there were more of in political discourse.

    And yeah, we’re having a daughter in mid-October. heh. I wasn’t really keeping it a secret, but it just never came up somehow.

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Bill Maher Is a Racist

Well, no…he’s actually not. Or if he is, the fact that he used the word “nigger” on Larry King isn’t proof of that.

Listen, I’m not a black man, and I don’t presume to speak for them, but Bill Maher’s use of the word was purely technical. It’s a word–an arrangement of letters to form a distinct, discrete sound. The word, itself, without context is meaningless. The only invective implied in Maher’s use of it was directed toward birthers and their ridiculous ilk who employ codewords like “Kenyan” to substitute for other words that would more overtly put their racism on display.

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  • fuwalda says:

    Now that Marvel is owned by Disney, the idea of Pixar producing a film based on those characters would make a lot of sense… but not Dr. Strange. I find this rumor hard to believe for a few different reasons. First of all, Pixar has yet to make a film based on a licensed character or property. It makes since that their first attempt would be a Marvel character, but Dr. Strange? Considering how they have only made family friendly fare up to this point, I can’t see them taking a stab at this decidedly mature, occultish comic book character.

    Also, and this may be a somewhat contentious remark, but considering how the Incredibles — as brilliant as it was — was little more than a rip off of the Fantastic Four (with a few other comic book tropes and cliches thrown in), it seems more likely that Pixar would just do a rip off of a Dr. Strange type character instead.

    And, yeah, this guy’s article was stupid.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    I don’t think Pixar would, either, which is why I’m pretty dismissive of the rumor. That said, if anybody could make it work, it would be Pixar. Weren’t they supposedly doing a John Carter of Mars movie?

  • fuwalda says:

    That sounds familiar.

    And there already has been one terrible live action Dr. Strange film and one mediocre animated Dr. Strange film. As much as I like the character, I don’t think another film adaptation is necessary. I mean, unless they got Roger Stern or or somebody to write the script. But, all in all, I’d rather see him write a comic book series instead.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    Believe it or not, the Dr. Strange movie is on YouTube. I watched a few minutes of it today. It’s not really a movie as far as I can tell. It’s the pilot to a TV series. And it’s pretty dumb.

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Pixar, Doctor Strange, Hulk, Etc.

Apparently, some rumors have been going around about Pixar possibly doing a Doctor Strange film. It seems an odd fit and there’s probably nothing to it at all except for one of those weird urban legends that propagates instantly across the Internet. But for the record, it would be awesome. Why? Because almost everything Pixar do is awesome.

I found out about this through a blog post on Premier.com: Does a Pixar Dr. Strange Movie Make Any Sense?

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Comics ‘R’ Us

I (more…)

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  • fuwalda says:

    My only major problem with Ang Lee’s Hulk is that it has no ending. I’ve watched that finale a half dozen or so times, and I still have no idea what the hell is going on. The sequel does a much better job by dumbing things down to my level and just having a kick ass fight scene between two giant monsters.

    I have some other problems with the film, but, as I said above, they are minor. The story takes a lot of liberties with the character’s origins, but that can be forgiven because it’s all well done and clever. It’s way too long, but that’s also a minor complaint because what works works extremely well. And I liked the dog fight scene. It was funny.

    But by pointing out the bad along with the good, I don’t feel like an apologist. I feel like I’m being thorough. The point of a reviewer is to discuss and point out what works, what doesn’t work, and weigh both accordingly for a final verdict. I will admit, however, that this film has been unfairly maligned by most people. I would estimate that 90% of the time when you see it cited in current blogs or articles, it is all but taken for granted that it was a huge piece of crap. Obviously, I disagree. But I still think League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is more unfairly hated and torn apart.

  • fuwalda says:

    Here’s another thing that doesn’t fit anywhere else, so I may as well post it here: Sam Elliot was so much better as Thunderbolt Ross than William Hurt. Hurt had a little bit more to do though. Also, Jennifer Connolly and Liv Tyler would about equal as Betty Ross. Although, for the life of me, I can’t remember Liv Tyler being in that movie at all. And Eric Roth was a better antagonist than Josh Lucas (who was actually very good), and the Abomination was way better than the first film’s pathetic interpretation of the Absorbing Man.

    They should make a third film already where the Rock or Steve Austin plays the Absorbing man, with his ball and chain and proper powers.

  • fuwalda says:

    Oh, and Eric Bana is a waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better actor than Edward Norton. Or, at least, I’ve always liked him more.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    Well, I didn’t mean you so much. I was more referring to people who spend the vast majority of a review explaining why a movie is awesome, and then attempt to take it all back in a hasty apology, or they emphasize that they know nobody agrees. I think there are more people out there who agree than speak up.

    “I would estimate that 90% of the time when you see it cited in current blogs or articles, it is all but taken for granted that it was a huge piece of crap.”

    Right–this is what bothers me. Even by objective standards, it wasn’t as bad as all that. A lot of those same people who refer to the Ang Lee Hulk that way will express in the same breath that the Ed Norton movie was some sort of salvation for the character. Yet the film was greeted with almost identical critical response and made about the same amount of money.

    Also, I agree–Sam Elliot was awesome as Thunderbolt Ross, and Steve Austin as the Absorbing Man would be cool.

  • fuwalda says:

    It’s kind of like how people talk about J Edgar Hoover being a cross-dresser as though it has been proven as an irrefutable fact, even thought it was probably completely made up. I make this example only so, for whatever reason, you’re going to go to bed tonight and dream about the Hulk wearing women’s clothing.

  • fuwalda says:

    Also, you should chop that picture of the Hulk so it looks like he’s biting a big, black cock.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    That reminds me of that Louis C.K. video I posted a while back.

    “Why does it have to be black?”
    “Because it’s attached to a black guy.”

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Apologists Assemble

Just to quickly follow-up on the topic of Ang Lee’s Hulk, it’s interesting to me the way this film is remembered. It seems to be considered a critical disaster, despite a fairly respectable 62% (55% amongst the Top Critics) freshness rating at Rotten Tomatoes. It is also hailed as one of the worst box office flops ever, despite doing about $250 million worldwide, which while not great, isn’t exactly chump change, either. For a time, after word of mouth absolutely destroyed this film, it seemed that nobody was willing to speak out in defense of it. Over the years, however, fans have been slowly coming out of hiding.

What’s odd, however, is that those of us who respect and even enjoyed Ang Lee’s Hulk always seem to couch our discussion so cautiously, as though we all live in fear of incurring the wrath of the insulted fanboys swarming the Internet. God forbid we just like the movie because we found the emotional narrative to be cerebral and the character development to be complex and unusual within the genre. Lord knows we couldn’t have truly been satisfied by the Hulk fighting mutated poodles (I swear, this poodle scene is the number one complaint leveled against the film).

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  • fuwalda says:

    I really enjoyed the first Hulk movie. In fact, when it first came out, I loved it. You can read my original review of that movie here:

    http://www.dononline.net/2003_06_01_archive.htm#95948435

    Wow. I really went off on how great it was there, which is a sentiment I still mostly agree with, but do find it a bit plodding on repeated viewings. I mostly just fast forward to all of the stuff with the Hulk. And, yeah, the CG was pretty flawless in my opinion. And, yeah, the Hulk jumps all the time in the comics. I’m pretty sure his ability to jump huge distances was even noted in his Marvel Handbook bio.

  • fuwalda says:

    I can’t find an online version of the Marvel Handbook, but there is from his Wikipedia page:

    “His powerful legs allow him to leap into lower Earth orbit or across continents.”

    They cite The Incredible Hulk vol. 3, #33 (Dec. 2001); The Incredible Hulk vol. 2, #254 (Dec. 1980) as references.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    As much as I enjoyed Ang Lee’s Hulk, I wouldn’t say it’s a movie that warrants repeated viewings. That said, I did pick up the DVD a couple of years ago, though I did so primarily because I wanted my wife to see it. I freely admit that it’s almost oppressively long. It’s kind of exhausting attempting to watch it all at once. But I still like it a lot.

    We saw this movie together in Charlottesville, didn’t we? I remember I went with my mom, who was visiting, and when the film was over, some guy exiting the theater said something like, “Meh. I expected more.” Even my mother, who like most mothers isn’t into action films, realized how ludicrous that statement was. She said something to me like, “How could you expect more? That film was fairly awe inspiring.”

    I think she was right. It was a lot of film. Too much film, really. But I respect that. Was it completely successful? Well, no. But it was ambitious, and it took the Hulk seriously as a character. Maybe more seriously than the Hulk deserved, and certainly more seriously than most people wanted.

  • Justin Garrett Blum says:

    Anyway, the point was that you can’t fault the film for the action sequences. They’re well conceived and really well filmed and executed.

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Hulk Smash

Donald’s Comic Book Movie Round-up (Part I, Part II, Part III) had me thinking again about Ang Lee’s Hulk, which led me to this video on YouTube that pulls out into a single seven-minute video a good portion of the action sequences from the film.

I know that this film is reviled by many, but can we at least agree that if you excise all of the plot, the action scenes are phenomenal? Then again, we probably can’t agree to that, can we? Hulk was so polarizing that some people can’t give it credit for having done anything right, which is rather a bizarre standpoint from my perspective, but it’s their loss, I suppose.

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Captain America, the Halloween Costume (cont.)

At left, I present evidence of how awesome the “full-Hitch” World War II costume would look in a Captain America film.

I’m being facetious, but this is adorable. I wish I’d had a costume like this when I was a kid. I’d have worn it every Halloween.

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