|Hooray for Captain Spaulding|
Thursday, June 24, 2004
my post about Ray Bradbury taking umbrage at Michael Moore for swiping his title, a commentator notes
Remember when Bradbury learned that EC was doing unauthorized adaptations of his stories? His reaction was to praise the job they were doing.That doesn't appear to be the entire story. The consensus on the 'Net is that after Bradbury found out about EC swiping his stuff, he started getting paid (although it's not clear if EC did more adaptations or if Bradbury contributed original stuff for EC). It's also not clear if he was retroactively paid for the stuff they swiped or what would have happened if they didn't take him up on his offer of contributing to future issues. The book Bradbury, an Illustrated Life apparently has correspondence between Ray Bradbury and William M. Gaines and may be worth looking into.
Another Bradbury-getting-stolen-from story was told in a documentary of Ray Harryhausen. Bradbury was approached to write a movie. The producer told him that he swiped the plot from a story in a pulp magazine. As you can probably guess, Bradbury was the author of that story. He was sent a check a couple of weeks later.
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the official Buckner & Garcia site and a Pac-Man Fever fansite which helpfully notes that the CD Buckner & Garcia sell on their site is a re-recording and not the original 1982 album.
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Monday, June 21, 2004
the new SCTV boxed set. What's to say? It's SCTV, legitimate candidate for the best television sketch show ever. It's great. Highlights include "The Nobel", a brilliant parody of The Oscar, the movie directly responsible for the fact that Tony Bennett now only plays the role of himself in movies.
One thing that dates the show are commercials for variety shows starring non-entertainer celebrities (Gene Shalit, some Russian weightlifter). The variety show format has essentially died, partially because it was used by the networks to exploit celebrities that the network didn't know what to do with.
Interesting fact learned from commentary: Bobby Bitman's "How are ya?" was a goof on Marty Allen's catchphrase "Hello dere".
And volume 2 is scheduled for October!
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discovers that fame doesn't stop an audience from talking during your stand-up set and possibly makes things worse (since in his case, the audience keeps shouting that they were in fact Rick James). Tying in to our discussion of comedians' doing commercials:
They do what they do for money - that's all. I don't even know why you're listening to me. I've done commercials for both Coke and Pepsi. Truth is, I can't even taste the difference, but Pepsi paid me last, so there it is.
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Monday, June 14, 2004
Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy.
They actually get right an important thing that I was convinced Hollywood would mess up. Specifically, when I first moved to LA, it was announced there was going to be a Spy vs. Spy movie (I can prove it too). As an intellectual exercise, I imagined how I'd pitch trying to get the gig to write the movie.
How the movie would likely be screwed up: The temptation would be great to make one spy the cool, hip spy, the one the audience should side with. Part of the humor of the cartoon was that the spies were essentially indistinguishable (a view I suspect Antonio Prohias did not feel about the Cold War what with nearly being jailed by Castro).
The plot of my version would have both Spies after a MacGuffin, let's say the Potrzebie Device built by Dr. Roger Kaputnik. They would fight each other in increasingly elaborate schemes to get their hands on it and swipe it from the other. Ideally the number of victories for each would be equal. The movie would end with the grey-checkered spy getting the jump on both and saving the Potrzebie device for America.
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"Howling Curmudgeons" written by a Who's Who of early-90's rec.arts.comics.* posters. All of you Captain Spaulding completists might want to check out a discussion of Garfield's box office potential, including yet another why-January-box-office-rankings-don't-count rant (here's my first one). Of course, why anyone would think a movie about our 20th President would be successful is beyond me.
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Friday, June 04, 2004
we have comments can let you all in on his brilliance) speculates the possibility that Bob Odenkirk may end up known as the "President of Beers" guy. Perhaps. On the other hand, people who have never heard of Odenkirk or Mr. Show are getting their first exposure to Mr. Show-style comedy. Odenkirk has often argued that their stuff really isn't that crazy or out-there and would be appreciated by Middle America. These commercials might not hurt in demonstrating that. They're presumably successful enough that Budweiser feels the need to respond.
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Thursday, June 03, 2004
Three Laws of Robotics were a way to assure the audience that we wouldn't be seeing that sort of crap. So, of course, the movie adaptation is about robots taking over the world.
Rather than see this film, a better use of your ten bucks would be to buy Harlan Ellison's I, Robot screenplay adaptation from an attempt to film the stories in 1977.
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the same post about comedians being sell-outs for doing commercials, I had the same argument back when George Carlin did long distance ads and someone said Carlin "didn't need" to do the ads. I suggested that we have no idea what's going on in Carlin's life and maybe shouldn't judge. As I learned a couple of years later, he had huge tax problems at the time and needed the money from those commercials to pay his tax bill so I was right. Besides no one could cite a bit of his which was contradicted by doing phone ads (other than a vague "But he's anti-establishment!!!!").
Similarly Jim judges David Cross for doing crappy movies when the thread he cites (an interesting one where Patton Oswalt defends himself and Odenkirk for "selling out" and gets in a plug for Sierra Mist while he's at it) notes that Cross was hoping to get a movie greenlighted by the same studio.
During the Carlin discussion, somebody quoted a Bill Hicks bit where he rants that comedians shouldn't do commercials. I replied that I wish he had a rule that comedians shouldn't drown out the comedy in their comedy albums with bad guitar music.
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said that Budweiser had its lizards goofing on Bob Odenkirk but then I found this article with dialogue and links to a couple of commercials. I was slightly misled by Jim since the ads are fairly generic and would fit any actor playing the "President of Beers" guy. I thought the commercials would be Odenkirk-specific:
FRANKIE: So what did you think of Run, Ronnie, Run?[Disclaimer: I've been a fan of Bob Odenkirk since '92.]
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translation of a Norwegian interview with Ray Bradbury, Bradbury says he's mad that Michael Moore swiped the Farenheit 451 title. Bradbury tried to get in touch with Moore but Moore didn't return his phone calls. Maybe he should follow Michael Moore with a video camera and a guy dressed as a horse.
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Hit and Run, Trey Parker and Matt Stone discuss in an E! interview the original plans for Team America, their new movie with an all-marionette cast:
"It started when we got snuck a script of The Day After Tomorrow, that Roland Emmerich movie about how global warming causes an ice age in two days," says Stone. "It's the kind of script where you know it's going to make hundreds of millions of dollars, which makes it the greatest dumb script ever."
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