Blog Archives

Video

Moon Knight: For when you might have to get a little bit crazy…

The comic collecting of my youth was dominated by some of the less popular titles (e.g. Rom), including some that came and went in various volumes of subsequent comic book series (e.g. Alien Legion) — what nowadays we might call “reboots”

One of my favorite examples of this was Moon Knight, because every new comic series of the character seemed to focus on different aspects of the mercenary-turned-“Fist of Khonshu.”

However, one of the most interesting aspects of this particular superhero is that, when not dressed up in his superhero regalia, he assumed multiple alter egos in different social strata to find out information — and sometimes you had to wonder which identity was real. The character certainly did. With that in mind, watch on:

As I may have mentioned elsewhere, I essentially stopped collecting almost all comics in the early 90s, which has led to what I find a very enjoyable situation: I understand the basics about most of the long-running superheroes and supervillains, but have no earthly idea about anything that’s happened in the comics for the past 30 years.

That means whenever I watch an Arrowverse show or MCU film, I can be delightfully surprised even if the plot is taken wholesale from some recent run in the comics. I have no problem with many a friend who has continued to follow their favored comic crusaders in the intervening decades, but my ignorance in these matters has, time and again, proven to be superheroic bliss.

So I really have no idea what’s happened to Moon Knight since 1994, but if they’re going for the crazy, I am here for it.

Video

The New Paradigm of Film Distributors Really Not Caring About Their Films

If you read last Wednesday’s post about standardization of suck that is the McDonald’s ice cream machine, you hopefully felt a little irritation — assuming you believe in truth, justice, and lovely intangibles.

Well, alas, I have more fuel for the ire fire, which I have a special interest due to my connection to filmmaking and knowing many a fellow indie producer who is either in this position or about to be.

Now, if you’re like me, you find this more than a little annoying. I mean, any indie filmmaker understands they need to wear multiple hats, often at once, to get their film completed and out into the world. But it really shouldn’t be too much to ask that people whose livelihood is based on your movie making money for them to care about, not the movie, but how to make sure that money maximizes money for them.

It reminds me of Patton Oswalt talking about having passion for the industry you’re in whether it’s running a comedy club booking stand-up comics or, say, distributing films. Enjoy the industry you’re in on one or more levels. There are so many other jobs you could do if you don’t care about this one. And I like that the discussion that especially when it comes to artistic and creative pursuits, it’s about being a fan and a ‘connoisseur’ of whatever the pursuit is… and you can be a fan at any budget level (some of that discussion begins at the 16:28 mark, but the whole interview is great).

While Deverett would possibly empathize, it’s clear he’s accepted this is the way things are, even if it’s more than a little irksome. In fact, if you watch his whole 4-hour interview or even some of the other segments, he points out all sorts of irksome aspects of the industry when it comes to film distribution. Film distributors in many cases are ripping filmmakers off. Brazenly. He even documents how he went after some “whoops” missing money from some of the territories a film of his was being distributed in. And he documents why is was so hard to do and holding people accountable is hard, expensive, and therefore unsustainable — this assessment from a lawyer and former film distribution professional!

So I won’t say, “Go forth and storm the barricades!” But I do want to give voice to that ire in the hopes that someone somewhere will figure out a way to beneficially disrupt a part of the film industry that seems to be doing its level best to standardize the suck.

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The Trash Heap Speaks Again!

Gen Xers and the like, this is not a drill! Let’s see what the Recylcotron has in store this time.

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TCM Remembers, 2021

Once again, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) does an artful job of honoring the film artists lost in the past year. When you’re ready to be wistful, or perhaps outright verklempt, give it a watch.

For those interested, here are the editions for 2020, 2019, and 2018.

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Where’s Alien Waldo?

Some days, do you ever wonder, what with all the exoplanets being discovered and concerted studying of the skies, where all the aliens are? And why haven’t we found any evidence of them? And do they make their spacecraft entirely out of the black box?

Well, Jill Tarter is here to clear some of that up. And by “clear up,” I mean “tell you how much we don’t know.”

Mind you, it might be good to go back and check with her on the UFO question, since this is from 2019, but I’m pretty sure most of her answers are, for better or for worse, still quite accurate and frustratingly open-ended.

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Desolate Dreams

Those of you who know I grew up listening to vintage radio will understand that I jumped at the chance to provide a radio announcer voice for that era… and I’m very happy that it’s part of the short film Desolate Dreams, being developed now by filmmaker Kiyoka Rhodes and a fantastic team. Besides the video, be sure to check out their website to learn more about the people working to bring this film to life and how you can support it.

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The Root of Many a Conspiracy Theory via Ramsey Theory

I still remember reading Vernor Vinge’s A Fire Upon the Deep with the idea of the “net of a million lies,” which we may well have already reached without the bonus of having an interstellar civilization. Instead, we have an absurd amount of people around the globe thinking they’re on a flat Earth.

I stumbled across this video that has a succinct explanation for a lot of conspiracy theories..

One of the concepts mentioned in the video above is one that I’m sure I’ve heard explained before, but I’m not sure I’ve heard the name: that being Ramsey Theory. Time and again, I hear science educators and others note that we humans, while clever enough to figure out mathematics, certainly enough to use statistics, individually get confused by the implications of said mathematics and statistics.

This led to another Ted Ed video that helps explain why so many people are so convinced by their faux insights: they simply don’t understand how much they don’t know.

May I always be aware of just how unaware I am of a great many things. Happy Monday!

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Creativity and Flipping Perspectives

What better way to kick off the work week with a theory of creativity including why it doesn’t occur at work as much?

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How Might They Update the Foundation of Foundation?

Just a little over a year ago I posted the teaser trailer for Foundation, a TV series adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s highly influential work of the rise and fall of galactic civilizations.

Well, we’ve got a new trailer and a premiere of September, so gird your space opera loins!

Already, I’ve seen chatter on the interwebs about some apparent departures from the books, some of which is also hinted at in the io9 piece on the trailer. However, as much as I enjoy the books, the initial ones are episodic to an anthological degree. After the initial part with Hari Seldon, the man who predict’s the empire’s collapse, we are thrust forward decades and centuries to a new generation of characters grappling with Seldon’s predictions and grand beats of the aforementioned galactic waxing and waning.

It’s all engaging, because Asimov enjoys cunning characters and a good plot twist, but it does mean we don’t get to grow to love the characters like we would in other ongoing novel series.

And yet, part of the whole magic of the Foundation series is seeing that centuries-long storyline unfold.

So I’m very keen to see how they approach the adaptation to make it engaging in the TV medium while being thought-provoing as it was in the books.

Video

Go A-viking… But Don’t Forget Your Helmet

I really should come up with a symbol/repeatable post that I put up when things get busy, like the prolific writer and de facto pop culture historian Mark Evanier does with his Cream of Mushroom Soup posts. And perhaps it should be Viking-themed.

But while I mull that over… and work on both a script and some audio editing, here’s a darn fine Danish PSA.

And no, Vikings didn’t wear helmets with horns. It could catch on something whilst pillaging.