Sunday, April 26, 2009


5.Summer Movies

Though Lucas had nothing to do with creating what’s generally accepted as the first summer blockbuster (JAWS in 1975), he did establish many of the trends still used today when releasing a movie in the summer. If you’re a ten year old kid or younger, you probably still appreciate many of his tactics used when STAR WARS came out in 1977, but these things grow more annoying with age. Toy promotions, product tie-ins with fast food vendors and other companies, onslaughts of commercials and advertising, games (before video games, it was the far inferior board game), and implied sequels (Lucas planned his trilogy back when it was just industry jargon rather than a studio assumption). That’s just shit surrounding the movie.An actual Summer Movie (as demonstrated by the incredibly successful STAR WARS theater run) needs massive visual and digital effects, explosions, sidekicks, hot chicks (Carrie Fisher = hot in her day), climactic showdowns, and lots and lots of window dressing. This process has become so concentrated and efficient, at least half a dozen blockbusters show up every summer and it gets to the point where you just want to absolve yourself from the whole damn thing.At the end of the day, the movie-going public always bases movies on quality rather than the amount of advertising force behind it. (i.e. DARK KNIGHT will always be better than shit like HANCOCK, even if there was zero marketing to let us know three months in advance that it’s coming. Man I hate Will Smith.And I really hate the whole summer blitzkrieg. Thank George Lucas.

4.Jake Lloyd’s Career

Not that any of us are complaining, but I’m sure little J-Llo and his mom are wondering why casting directors have stopped calling his agent after PHANTOM MENANCE did its damage. I haven’t seen the kid since.Have you? I’m pretty sure Lucas got pissed at what he did with the most evil villain of all time and and lodged him in his throat, where he’ll slowly digest for the next 1,000 years.

3. The WILLOW Sequels

Back before Ron Howard genetically nano-enhanced his directive brain and put the setting on “What Would Oscar Like?”, he made a nice fantasy movie about a dwarf aspiring to become a wizard-dwarf as he happens upon a normal sized baby destined to save the world. George Lucas came up with the story and “acted” as executive producer for the movie. All in all, a very solid film filled with amiable characters (both good and evil).Lucas, greedy dick that he is, planned on sequels from the beginning, but the box-office receipts were a tad underwhelming, and instead relied on books (called SHADOW MOON, SHADOW DAWN, and SHADOW STAR) to carry on the story. However, within the first two chapters of the book, everybody except Willow, the baby, and two tiny sidekicks were obliterated in an instant (VAL KILMER DEAD?!? His hot wife too?).Willow then becomes a dark wizard-dwarf and goes out looking for the baby, who grows up to become fat and bitter. By the third book, the main characters were binding their lives to dragon eggs and some other nonsense that completely misses the mark that the original film bulls-eyed. Since WILLOW isn’t that big a deal, and its sequels only exist in books (which aren’t DVD compatible), I’m sure the summer blockbuster rant hits a little closer to home than this one. I figure that while the mass-marketing of all those tentpoles kinda bites, the only time I reaaallly hate it is when they go through all that hassle to promote monkey turds (HANCOCK, WILD WILD WEST). Since these WILLOW sequels suck all-together, it gets the higher ranking. And as for Jake Lloyd, I know we all hate him, but the man worked with George Lucas on one of the most anticipated movies ever and now hes' gone. That's pretty significant (he was TURBOMAN's son for Christ's sake). Moving on…

2.Star Wars

I don’t care that he went back and digitally remastered the original trilogy three or four different times (hey, they look cooler now).And I don’t even mind the second trilogy so much since SITH lived up to the hype and there were enough good parts scattered throughout the other two to make them adequately enjoyable.Yes, Jar Jar was god awful (some say the character was racist towards mentally retarded Jamaicans).Yes, Lucas abandoned the good vs. evil set up for a more complex trade embargo scenario and that sucked as well. Yes, in no way does the second trilogy ever top the first, but now he’s going too far. At least with living human characters there’s some dignity to it all. But completely abandoning that platform in the hopes of selling us some cheaply drawn computer animation story is just terrible. (to be fair, more than 70% of the second trilogy was computer animation probably, so this next jump wouldn’t have been too much of stretch if only the characters looked like real people rather than Saturday morning anime wannabees) Most critics have likened it to a poorly made video game, and all are pretty much giving it the negative treatment.Have you really given up on it that much Lucas? If you were UNIVERSALLY known for one thing (which is creating Star Wars), you think he’d work super hard to make sure that if he does decide to milk every last cent out of the franchise (which he did), it better live up to the caliber of the original. Yep, it would be hard to do, but not impossible. Yet even after all this, there are still plans of continuing THE CLONE WARS on television, and also creating a live-action weekly television series that is set either long before or long after the two trilogies. Fast becoming a punchline, it might be time for Lucas to stop counting his royalty checks and flush the saga down the sarlaac pit (that’s two references now!)

And you just know those gay trekkies are eating this up right now. Let’s hope Abrams fails.

1.An Indiana Jones No-hitter

SPOILERS WITHIN.Like most of the people I know, I like to think that the INDIANA JONES trilogy was pitching a perfect game after Indy rode off into the sunset back in the late 80’s (maybe a line drive hit the TEMPLE OF DOOM in the shins and one guy got on base via error – STILL a no-hitter). A not long after the curtain dropped on LAST CRUSADE, talk of fourth adventure hitting the big screen buzzed around Hollywood. After a few years, that buzz fell to a whisper, which still stayed constant for much of the 90’s and 00’s. This is where gripe number one takes place.The big three of the trilogy (Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford, and Georgey Boy) all had to agree on a script before production would go underway, thus preventing steaming poop from making its way into theaters.Lucas, with an ego the size of his neck, took upon himself (and still takes it upon himself should there by an INDY V) to solely tailor the story and decide upon the artifact that Indy goes after. If you’ve seen the movie, then you know what the artifact is in CRYSTAL SKULL. And no, it’s not just a crystal skull, but…(HERE COME THE SPOILERS)…a gay alien skull that has alien friends who teach mayans irrigation then take a nap for multi-millennia until hot Irena Spalko puts the skull back and they fly away in their spaceship. Supposedly fat Lucas decided on this artifact from the beginning (which isn’t a bad choice in of itself), and vetoed any script that came his way if it didn’t have the skull as the main lure. Spielberg and Ford had other ideas that they liked, but that didn’t matter because Georgey cries if he can’t have his cake and gorge it too. So, with years ticking away, Harrison getting older, other characters dying or retiring, we soon find the fourth adventure NINETEEN years after we last saw Indy. Each script with the crystal skull went through multiple rewrites until a plausible story that went very very light on any alien content came about with Frank Darabont’s script, one which was posted on this site before.But Lucas didn’t want that either.He insisted on aliens. WHY???? Because this movie would be set in the 50’s, and since the original trilogy set in the 30’s mimicked the republic serials of that decade, this new romp in the 50’s would mimic the cheesy sci-fi garbage of the 50’s. Spielberg clashed with Lucas and said he wanted to do it as they did before (which would give it a similar look as the others), but Lucas was adamant about making it look like shit a sci-fi movie.So there you have it, the parts about CRYSTAL SKULL that sucked were the cheesy sci-fi scenes, whereas most other scenes were spot on (thanks Spielberg). If Indy was still pitching that no hitter in the 7th, the fridge scene came and hit a sure-triple down the line that just lands foul. But none of that matters because the damn spaceship and “knowledge is A-OK!” lesson hit back to back dongs in the bottom of the 9th.(to almost make matters worse, when asked questions about a fifth movie, Lucas hinted at downplaying Harrison Ford and making Shia LaBeouf the main character from here on out…the fan reaction was immediate. Thumbs down across the country, George had a change of mind and now if Indy does come back again, at least it’ll still be his adventure).

and the young Indy tv show doesn't count either. thems the minor leagues.

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