On a recent visit to Disneyland with some friends, we took the opportunity to see the return of Captain Eo, which Disneyland brought back as a tribute to Michael Jackson due to Michael’s death last year. The attraction is billed as the “Captain Eo Tribute” as opposed to just Captain Eo. And the attraction is replacing “Honey, I Shrunk The Audience” 3-D attraction which I think is what originally replaced Captain Eo in the first place when Disneyland pulled the attraction.
The attraction starts out with a “pre-show” which Disneyland highlighted was the original pre-show from when Captain Eo first premiered back in 1986. And I think the pre-show just really showcased how attention spans have gotten considerably shorter, as the pre-show just dragged on and on and on endlessly where the footage would have been sliced and spliced considerably more if it was being made for today’s audiences to keep the pace moving. It showcased some of the casting, the rehearsal process, and the making of Captain Eo. The pre-show was also hammering down the notion of how landmark Captain Eo is as a collaboration of Michael Jackson (arguably at his peak of popularity), George Lucas (still hot off the heels of the success of his original Star Wars Trilogy), Francis Ford Coppola (a legendary director) and of course, Disney. Okay, we get it, big names bring big expectations.
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Last night I attended an “Ugly Sweater Party” at the home of a local friend, Mike Kurtz. The premise of the party is that you’re suppose to find an ugly sweater or sweatshirt to wear to the party. You have the option of buying something new that’s hideous or comb the racks of the local thrift stores to find something ugly. It’s just a fun excuse to have a great theme party.
The party is also a pot luck of sorts and I brought some cookies. I didn’t have time to make some sugar free ones so I just bought some pre-made cookie dough packages from the supermarket and baked those up for the party. Pretty quick and easy. Some people did some creative things, such as one person brought a whole plate of olives that were creatively stacked and stuffed with some carrots and cream to look like penguins. Mike and his partner Ian had wonderful meatballs for the party.
To compliment the theme of ugly sweaters, one of the worst television holiday specials ever was screened. It’s the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special. It’s so bad that George Lucas has said if he had the time and a hammer he would track down every bootleg recording of it and smash it. And yes, it was horrible. I’m amazed they got the original actors to consent to making this steaming pile of crap holiday special. The sets looked terrible. The costumes were pretty bad, especially the Wookies that made up the rest of Chewbacca’s family. Even the animation for the cartoon segment introducing Boba Fett was bad too.
Continue reading Ugly Sweater Party & Bea Arthur In Star Wars
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Amazon.com is having an incredible sale on the First Season Blu-Ray Box set for Star Trek: The Original Series. Amazingly they are offering it before it’s release on April 28th, 2009 for 50% off the list price. I don’t know how long the sale price is going to last, but it’s probably the lowest it’s going to be offered for a while.
The Original Series finally hits Blu-Ray after the failed attempt by Paramount to go HD-DVD exclusive. The previous HD-DVD release of the first season of Star Trek only had the brand new digitally enhanced versions of the show, where all the special effects had been replaced with brilliant new CGI versions. (Think how George Lucas did with the original Star Wars movies, except the Star Trek folks exercised far better restraint on adding extraneous crap to the episodes). The episodes look as if they were made today.
Continue reading Star Trek Original Series Season One 50% Off At Amazon
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One of the movies I was most looking forward to seeing this year was the return of Indiana Jones. Its been nearly twenty years since Indiana Jones’ last adventure where we joined the character on his search for the Holy Grail. Well what adventure would be exciting enough to bring the character back for yet another adventure, and it seems that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg felt that the “Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull” should be that adventure that ushers in a revisit to the world of Indiana Jones. Sadly, I found the adventure to feel like it was blazed on a path already well paved by other movies. While I don’t regret going to see the new Indiana Jones film, it just felt like a big let down for the type of adventure you come to expect from Indiana Jones.
I personally quite enjoyed seeing Harrison Ford embark on another adventure as Indiana Jones. His acting was great. I did like touches that throw back to the earlier films such as a nod to the Ark from Raiders, the convention of flight with the animated flight path on maps, and even nods to characters from previous films not featured here, as well as about the only true genuine laugh I got from the film involving Indy’s dislike of snakes, however, the plot just really failed to serve the sense of adventure I was expecting from a character like Indiana Jones. In fact, I’m almost sure that had the lead character been something new instead of Indiana Jones, I’d have felt less disappointed and might actually feel it was a better movie than I think it is.
The movie just felt like an endless series of homages to other movies, that very little about the plot felt original. Cate Blanchett’s Russian felt like a knock off of Boris and Natasha just without Boris. The presence of John Hurt and the shape of the alien head just felt so much like Alien that I kept waiting for one to burst from John Hurt’s chest. The entire sequence with the ants felt like a similar scene with scarabs from one of the recent Mummy movies. Shia LaBeouf’s character could have been yanked out of American Graffiti or Grease, or just for sheer lameness, West Side Story. The alien plotline felt like a cross between E.T. and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. The whole chase through the jungle sequence felt like it was easily ripped off from the James Bond movies or even a much slower paced version of the speeder bike sequence from the Return of the Jedi installment of the Star Wars franchise. (Additionally, I thought it kind of interesting that the vehicles needed a truck to slash away the jungle just to get through it, but as soon as it was damaged, the chase sequence occurs and all the other vehicles could ride practically side by side through the now non-existent thickness of the jungle.) Continue reading Indiana Jones And The Stolen Movie Plots
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