Spaceballs

As part of the Quinlan Circle’s first DVD Challenge (Sign up for our Patreon to vote for movies to make us watch!!), I watched Spaceballs, an old childhood favorite of mine for a couple years. (Here is Joi Massat’s own write-up on the movie.)

I hadn’t seen it since something like 2005, so it was a very odd experience revisiting it for how well I remembered almost every single scene. It played out exactly how I remembered.

Actually, aside from understanding all the sex jokes and making me realize I was not old enough to watch this movie at all, there was nothing new here for me to discover at all… Which is maybe a bad thing overall.

Like, I love all the slapstick comedy and the stupid nonsense jokes that go on way too far. I love all the fourth wall breaks where they skip ahead in the movie to find out plot details. But I didn’t love this as much as I expected I would.

Maybe my sense of nostalgia and knowing that it would hold up well started to override my expectations and make me think this would have so much more to offer when I watched it as an adult? It’s just a juvenile spoof movie with a bunch of good gags. It’s nothing more than that, and that should be okay with me. But it kind of disappointed me a little bit…

Spaceballs is funny, Mel Brooks is a genius, and I’m overthinking all of this by a ton. But this is a weird case where I wanted the movie to be a lot more than it was, but instead it was exactly the same.

[2019] The Day Box Office Mojo Died

Nobody likes website redesigns. Even when the redesigns are pretty damn good and add some sorely needed features, like most of Youtube’s, there will always be a ton of complaints for a short time afterwards from people who aren’t yet used to the changes.

And it can get annoying when websites (namely those run by Google) are constantly updating, changing around visual design and icon placement and destroying your muscle memory a couple times a year for the sake of theoretically improving its layouts.

But there is one instance where a website redesign was done with malicious intent and ended up destroying an entire internet hobby, and that’s Box Office Mojo.

Continue reading “[2019] The Day Box Office Mojo Died”

[2014] Fantastic Visual Storytelling: Noah

Darren Aronofksy’s Noah was a really good movie. Nobody really talks about it anymore, though. It made bank at the box office, got great reviews, and generated tons and tons of controversy for presenting a decidedly non-Evangelical interpretation of the Book of Genesis. Even so, it faded from the limelight quite a lot.

But what I want to talk about with Noah is its Creation Scene, one of the most visually stunning sequences in any film in the 2010s. If you liked Aronofsky’s other heavily symbolic and religious The Fountain, this scene will be perfect for you. It works amazingly in-context as part of the moral drama of Noah and his family, but it also works completely separately as a standalone scene:

Amazing stuff, ain’t it?

The scene really speaks for itself. It tells the story of the first three chapters of the Book of Genesis, using trippy timelapse visuals to show the progress of the world and the descent of man into the sinful world that has become life for Noah and his family.

The movie takes Noah’s allegorical tale and meshes it with both recorded human history and other Biblical stories and it’s so cool. (Also, definitely part of the controversy behind this film for Evangelical groups.) But it most certainly represents director Aronofsky’s beliefs about Creation, shown off in the grandest way possible.

Check out another 2014 movie that did wonders with visual storytelling: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Box Office Release Date Swaps: What If Captain Marvel, Alita, and Glass Switched Places?

I have had this past three weeks “off” work, in that I have to go to City Hall every day and sit there doing nothing but use my computer rather than teach any classes. So in all of my free time, I guess I’ll be uploading a few more random blog posts than usual. Here’s one right now:

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Glass (2019 poster).pngFile:Captain Marvel poster.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One thing I love to do in my spare time, probably my nerdiest and least-redeeming hobby, is to analyze the movie box office and see what movies are doing well, what movies are doing poorly, and how well the movies I love are performing. Even though I’m obviously most invested in what I care about most, I wish for the best for (almost) every movie, even though sometimes you just get pretty big failures out of nowhere.

In the case of the hypothetical scenario I’m about to write about, the first three months of 2019 were considered pretty terrible for the movie box office. There were a few hits– Captain Marvel, obviously, and then How to Train Your Dragon 3, but a few more big movies had major underperformances (Glass, Lego Movie 2, Alita, and now Dumbo) that have dragged the entire calendar down.

So I began to wonder one thing… what if the release dates of three of the biggest movies were swapped around?

Continue reading “Box Office Release Date Swaps: What If Captain Marvel, Alita, and Glass Switched Places?”

Look!

It’s an old photo of John Malkovich that makes him look really smoking.

I have never considered John Malkovich in my pantheon of hunky male dreamboat actors, but it turns out that he ended up being relatively hunky in his early years after all, if this photo is any evidence.

Is it something about the combination of black-and-white and a suit, or was he actually just a good-looking dude back thirty-plus years ago? It’s hard to tell. But what I do know is this guy right here looks like he’s about to star in a neo-noir film about a dystopian future where the world is controlled by alien invaders who are mining the planet for precious resources, but John’s just a private eye trying to make it through the week on booze and cigarettes.

Also, he kinda looks like Ben Stiller. Weird.