Sunday, January 27, 2008


What is good science fiction? I have never been a big fan of the apocolyptic future envisioned by most science fiction films because they focus only on the earth and its inhabitants. We always destroy ourselves whether because of politics, or the creation of artificial intelligence, or because of some disease we created, or some other fantastical reason. Some are well done and others laborious and far-fetched.

In Star Trek IV of course we should have saved the whales to avoid our future fate...ahem, yeah.

In The Terminator series AI would eventually wipe us out if not for John Conner who is still being saved over and over again from time travelling cyborgs, until who knows, maybe he won't ever save humanity. Since they have to make it into a TV series I suppose it is still in doubt whether he will actually live to be a hero at all. And here's the problem with possible time travel- is anything ever final?

Blade Runner is a nicely crafted vision of the not too distant future where once more our creation of AI has harmful consequences. My big question is since when does it rain that much in Los Angeles?

The Matrix is a bit different in that we are conquered by an alien race who make us into microchips or something for their big machines. I found the idea fascinating in the first film, which of course was necessary to disguise the cyborg-like acting of Keanu Reeves. But then they had to make 2 and 3 and ruin everything. I know the Matrix isn't real, but does anybody but me think that wearing sunglasses in the dark all the time is a bit pretentious and stupid?

12 Monkeys is one apocolyptic film I really love, perhaps because Terry Gilliam is well-suited for that style. (After all, he did also direct Brazil, even though I find that one a bit too dreary.) In 12 Monkeys it is a virus or something which kills most of earth's population but is released by a madman. Time travel is again a key ingredient to stop this, and like those Terminators, as many trips as necessary to get the job done.

A.I. is a particularly depressing view of our future and once again the consequences of scientific ambition.

I Am Legend and Omega Man both from the same book deal with another virus which instead of curing cancer wipes out most of humanity. I am depressed just writing this.

In The Postman Kevin Costner proves once again he should stick to cowboy roles only! (or ex-cons as in A Perfect World) But once again we destroy our society and our mail delivery (Gasp!) in the future.

Escape From NY, Death Race 2000, and the Mad Max films are all bleak despite comic moments and cult status. I find that in most of these type of future flicks people just need to take a shower and maybe pick up some trash here and there. I mean does hygiene have to go just because of nuclear holocaust and what not?

In 2001: A Space Odyssey arguably the greatest science fiction film ever made, everything is pristine and clean. Of course we don't get a glimpse of downtown Manhattan as a prison or rain swept LA at night either. I guess space is always pretty clean.

Silent Running is all in space and still pretty depressing about the state of our future.

I guess my point with all of these observations is that the one sci-fi franchise that stands apart from all of the rest is Star Wars. Although George Lucas' first film THX-1138 does show us an Orwellian future he decided to take Star Wars away from earth's future by setting it "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away". Even in it's darkest moments Star Wars is not depressing to us because it is not our fate. That is escapism at it's finest. Now just skip Greedo shooting first, ignore Episode I and you have some great sci-fi!

Monday, January 21, 2008

More Alternate Endings

That was so much fun I think I'll do some more. Once more, spoilers ahead!

The Phantom Menace

Darth Maul chops off Jake Lloyd's head. George Lucas figures he should cast someone else. Obi-Wan chops off Jar-Jar's head. No replacement necessary.

Attack Of The Clones

Natalie Portman realizes she is running circles around Hayden Christensen's acting and decides she'd rather be with Obi-Wan, who decides to handicap Anakin one episode early, so we can skip all of the bad acting and get straight to Episode III. And BTW, Luke and Leia are really Kenobi's kids, but we don't find that out until many years after Bakura when the whole group appears on Maury for the DNA tests. Obi-Wan waits as a shiny apparition in the green room while the crowd boos him. But, he gets revenge when he disentigrates all of them, including Maury and his hair coloring. Luke and Leia are both relieved not to be related to the over-actor, but Luke is also very confused because he thought he inherited that from his father. "That's your uncle Owen talking," Obi-Wan says and they all have a good laugh! The End

Independence Day

Will Smith can't really read alien script so he pushes buttons at random aboard the alien spacecraft. Oops, that was the self-destruct button-BOOOM! Earth gets a few more weeks of bombing, but eventually the aliens die from viruses just like in War of the Worlds.

Rocky beats Appollo Creed, the theme music blares, he finds Adrian and tells her he loves her.....and he drops dead of a heart attack. The End.
The 80s change forever.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Alternate Endings

Many DVDs these days offer lots of behind the scenes stuff for movies. Some even have alternate endings which is just a big neon sign saying "We couldn't afford a decent screenwriter" or "We have no idea what we're doing" from the producers. I thought of some ways to end a few classic and non-classic films. Beware, spoilers ahead!

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Caratacus Potts takes the old hunk o' junk to get a tune-up and a valve job. Now they just call him "Vroom".

Home Alone

The parents are arrested and little Macauley is taken away by child services. At least that would have prevented Home Alone 2...and 3!


Instead of miraculously jumping the missing space in the bridge the bus actually falls through, crashes into the pavement, and the bomb explodes. End of movie.


Instead of floating through the air for twenty minutes and finding land, the balloon crashes into the studio wall painted like the sky (kinda like the one in The Truman Show) and the producers give up putting money into that sinkhole of a stupid idea for a movie.

The Matrix

Keanu Reeves finds out he's "The One" and uses his magic powers to become a decent actor. Yeah, I know I have a fantastic imagination.

Sleepless In Seattle

Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks get into a NYC cab after just meeting for the first time. Ten minutes later when they find out they have nothing in common and Meg Ryan reveals her hatred for the Cubs, Tom and his son get out of the cab and never see her again. Then she has to crawl back to Bill Pullman on her knees and realizes he's the only man who really loves her for her. And they probably play some sappy romantic song in the background AGAIN!

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

Chief stabs Nurse Ratchett in the neck with a pencil. The End.


It's discovered that a giant meteor is headed straight for earth so they decide to assemble a team...TOO LATE! I mean by the time you realize a meteor is headed straight to earth it's practically there. But original estimates were wrong. It's only about the size of a Volvo and lands directly on Ben Affleck at 700 mph. Everyone lives happily ever after.

Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves

Everyone realizes Robin is a pansy who can't even speak with a proper English accent and ditches him to follow Morgan Freeman who has BOMBS to blow stuff up, I mean really!

More alternate endings to come.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I think it would be interesting if people were to be punished in the afterlife according to the way they lived on earth:

Vain, snobbish people will cruise through the poshest neighborhoods in Beverly Hills in a lime green Pacer for eternity.

People with no sense of humor will be placed in a 4x4 cell with Bill Lumberg reading from the IRS tax code for eternity or with an Amway salesman, whichever annoys them more.

People who go low riding with their stereo blasting, the bass breaking up chunks of stucco, will be put in a similar cell and forced to listen to Barry Manilow "at a reasonable volume" for eternity.

Government pork barrell bureaucrats will be put in the cave with Osama bin Laden.

Osama bin Laden will be put in the cave with Ralph Nader... and will be subjected to other things I don't want kids to read.

White supremacists will be forced to watch re-runs of "Rerun" on What's Happening, and reruns of Good Times and The Jeffersons for eternity...wearing geri curls.

Racists "of color" will be forced to listen to Pat Boone, Happy Jackson, and Boxcar Willie records for eternity...wearing geri curls.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Few New Year's Resolutions

So far I haven't kept a single resolution but maybe that's because I just had the usual. You know: stop eating junk, less TV, quit locking the kids in the basement...the usual. So I thought if I made some more reasonable and achievable
resolutions then maybe I would have more success. So here goes some ideas off the top of my head.

-In 2008 I resolve to not watch anything with Julia Roberts in it. I kinda wanted to see Charlie Wilson's War, but oh well.

-In 2008 I resolve to do nothing to "fight" "global warming"...whatever the heck that means.

-In 2008 I resolve to smoke more cigars and drink more bourbon than I did in 2007.

-In 2008 I resolve to pay as little attention as possible to presidential campaign ads.

-In 2008 I resolve to never say the words- "Britney", "Lindsay", "Spears" "Lohan" or "K-Fed". I would add "Paris" to that list, but I've heard there's also a famous European city with that name.

-In 2008 I resolve to cheer for any team that faces Bill Belichick in the NFL playoffs. Yeah, his team is great but he's a jerk.

-In 2008 I resolve to pray for the Big East officials to overcome blindness.

-In 2008 I resolve to pray for Oklahoma and Bob Stoops to overcome choking. "Choklahoma"...heehee, get it?

-In 2008 I resolve to not watch the same shows I didn't watch in 2007 when the writers were on strike. Boy, did they make a difference! Their craftsmanship has totally been missed by me....big time.

-In 2008 I resolve to keep writing random, trivial thoughts on this blog so that others wonder consistently about my mental stability.

There, I think those are totally doable, don't you?