Needless changes to the original Star Wars

In 1977 a New Hope (then just called Star Wars) came out. It blew out records and changed Hollywood. The original first 3 came out at a perfect time. Science Fiction was not a sure box office hit then and it’s a wonder George Lucas got it made. Some of the script writing was iffy but as a whole, it was a wonderful saga. Not only were the movies good but the merchandising went crazy.

The prequels I just didn’t like. The feel of the originals was gone. Lucas said he wanted a change but he changed it just to another space flick. Anakin Skywalker played by Hayden Christensen just wasn’t right. Either bad casting combined with a bad script but to me, he was not convincing. He did do better in Revenge of the Sith but still, in my opinion, it wasn’t where it should have been. Ewan Mcgregor was wonderful as Obi-Wan and the standout to me in all the prequels.

What Lucas did to the original three re-releasing them caught backlash from fans. Changing some scenes…where Han shoots first and adding more decoration throughout the films. What made me upset is Lucas only offered a poor quality DVD set of the original three in 2006 without the changes. One dedicated fan Petr Harmáček spent half a decade tracking down high-quality prints of the 3 original films and put them back together and it’s called “Star Wars Despecialized Edition” that you can download. Petr did a great job with these and it shows you how great these looked when they were released.

There was no need for extra CGI decoration when these movies were re-released. I have nothing against CGI but I do like to see the films as the audience did way back when. When I went to see “The Force Awakens” I knew within the first 5 minutes that Star Wars had the same feel as the first ones. I also liked Rogue One and The Last Jedi…The Last Jedi got some complaints but I still liked it. It was a great send off for Carrie Fisher.

 

Clara Bow… The Only IT Girl

My favorite eras in the 20th century have always been the 1960’s, 1970’s and the 1920’s. I was looking through some books in the early 90s inside some a long forgotten bookstore and a picture of an actress caught my eye. There was something about Clara Bow that grabbed my attention. I had read about her in a terrible slanderous book called Hollywood Babylon by  Kenneth Anger and I was compelled to get the book just by her stare from the cover. The book was written by David Stenn called Clara Bow”Runnin’ Wild… I finished it in one night. The book impressed me so much that a few years later I tracked down David’s phone number (again pre internet) called Mr. Stenn just to tell him how much I loved the book. After I explained to him that he made me a lifetime fan of Clara he graciously sent me an autographed copy of the book to replace my worn out (loaned out again and again) to my friends.

David Stenn actually had facts about Clara unlike Anger’s book of sensational garbage. Reading that book introduced me to the world of Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks. From there my interest in silent movies grew. I always thought all silent movies were grainy unwatchable films where all the actors were on speed. I soon was educated that most of those movies where played on the wrong projector at different speeds and that is the reason for the sped up action. The quality of many of those movies from the 20’s is better quality than movies made in the 60s-80s when mastered right. Stunts where not faked and CGI didn’t exist….everything is real.

Clara had a terrible childhood where her mother was mentally ill and tried to kill her. Her father may have sexually abused her on top of everything else. In her movies, she sold the tickets. Paramount built movies off of her name and didn’t always give the best scripts but she was electric on film. Your eyes will automatically go to her. She could convey more in one look than actresses today can say in 10 minutes. She was never appreciated as she should have been and that is sad. She was never accepted by her peers and never invited to Hollywood parties because she was straight up and said what was on her mind. She was great with fans but stardom took its toll on her. She ended up marrying a western actor named Rex Bell and went into seclusion.

She did some “talkies” and they are enjoyable but nothing beats her silent movies like IT (no Pennywise) and Wings. Call Her Savage was her best talkie film. Check her out when you can… She is worth it.

 

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Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton

Charlie and Buster were two of the best screen comedians ever to walk the earth. They both had similar upbringings. Buster and his family in American vaudeville. Charlie worked in British music halls. Charlie rose to stardom in silent movies in the 1910’s beginning with Keystone, Mutual (where he made his best short comedies)  Essanay and then he confounded United Artist with Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and W. D. Griffith. After that Charlie went into full feature films.

Buster started silent shorts in 1917 with Roscoe Arbuckle. After Roscoe broke out on his own so did Buster….he did some more short films which were brilliant. He then went into full features. Buster was just so different than anyone else. He was so still while the world moved into chaos around him. He was a brilliant actor-director and also writer which he often didn’t take credit for doing. If Buster would have just made “The General” his place in film history would be cemented. The same can be said of Charlie Chaplin and his masterpiece “The Gold Rush.”

There was no competition between the two in popularity. Charlie won hands down over Buster and probably everyone else in comedy and drama. His character “The Tramp” was internationally loved. All in all, Keaton was a better filmmaker. They were two different comedians. Chaplin would reach for pathos…sometimes a little too much. Keaton seemed much more real. Keaton’s sight gags were incredible and sometimes dangerous to his health…like have a front of a building that weighed a ton (so it wouldn’t twist in the wind) fall on him with the upstairs opening clearing him around 2 inches on each side. He never smiled because it would have ruined his character. Both are worth watching and with Keaton’s films like Sherlock Jr…you wonder how he did some of the things he did with the primitive camera’s they used.

Both were funny men. The other big comedian was Harold Lloyd but he was more of an actor playing a comedian….he was really successful though… second to Chaplin in making money.

 

Charlie and Buster older both appear in Charlie’s Limelight.

Doctor Who…NOT Miss WHO

I have always loved Doctor Who. I remember it in the 1970s on PBS…Tom Baker was fantastic. The special effects were not great but it did NOT matter. As long as the story was conveyed that is all I cared about. They brought it back in 2005 and I’ve liked all the Doctors since then until now. Now they cast a woman as Doctor Who….I have nothing against women….I was raised by my Mom and sister and I have nothing but respect for women. It’s not about hating women…it’s about miscasting.

The BBC did it to be politically correct.  They didn’t care if it would be good for the show or not…it’s all about making certain people happy.

and this from the BBC:

It was always unlikely that the Doctor would continue to be white and male, especially as the BBC has committed itself to greater diversity on its programmes

but yet this also right before…

 

It should be about making the show better not for greater diversity. To me it’s about the same as a man being cast as Wonder Woman, A giant spider being cast as King Kong.

I would have been just as angry if they would have made the Doctor an American man. It doesn’t fit.

Well I have all the old classic shows and the shows since 2005 to keep me entertained. I least I won’t have to take time every Saturday night to watch it anymore. As much as it pains me to say….I could care less if it ends up cancelled.

Darth Vader to Luke: “I am your mother” How would that have gone down?

Steven Moffat…the Show Runner…said he would not cast a woman….then the BBC stepped in and now all a sudden he agrees with the decision.

Some people may like it…more power to them…but it’s not just the fact HE turned into a woman…it’s the fact that it was just done for diversity. Yes Doctor Who is a fictional character but also an icon. Some change in life is good…but change for the sake of changing is not….

I was so angry when this was announced….Well I’ve had more time to think about it and ….I’m more angry. I would have like to go on a swearing rant here but I won’t do that.

I’ve heard the saying “change with the times” over this subject…well I will only when the changes make sense. To me this doesn’t at all…

Anyone who disagrees with the choice is called a woman hater. No I’m a political correctness hater….and that is why this happened.

From the Dailystar

Comments on social media and fan forums included: “Female Doctor – tick.

“Middle aged white man – tick. Young black man – tick. Young Asian girl – tick

 

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Tom Baker my favorite Doctor

 

IT 1990 and IT 2017

The new trailer for IT Chapter 2 is out now.

I’ve never seen IT as a horror story…I’ve seen it as a coming of age story with scary twists. I really like the novel and I wanted to see something as close as possible to the book. The book is much better than either the movie or miniseries but that is usually how it is.

I went to see IT (2017) with very high hopes. I realized before I traveled to the theater that they could never meet my expectations. My hope (and far-fetched dream) was that they would have made an HBO series of the novel. It would have been fifteen to twenty hour-long episodes. I wanted so much for the novel to come to life on screen. That wasn’t going to happen in one movie but I will say that yes I enjoyed it.

I’m not one of those who dismiss the 1990 mini-series. They were working with a low budget and the constraints of television. I thought the children were perfectly cast. The first episode was superior to the second episode but the second had it’s moments…not counting the terrible spider or the ponytail on Richard Thomas. The one thing IT 1990 had over 2017 is overall creepiness. Maybe it was Tim Curry and the late 80s sound effects.

IT 2017 was much better looking and I liked Bill Skarsgård’s version of Pennywise. The way he toyed with Georgie was classic. They revealed way too much in the many trailers and sneak peeks. Most of the movie you knew what was coming next. My biggest problem is the kids really didn’t have time to bond. Also, the time change from the 1950’s to the 1980s…did Andrés Muschietti just think the audience today could not comprehend the 50’s? The reason I liked the 50’s backdrop is that kids were more innocent then and Pennywise in that era would be more of a shock.

It’s not really fair to judge the new IT until Chapter 2 comes out in September but Chapter 1 was enjoyable. I’m happy the story has been revived again.

 

 

 

Some overlooked solo Beatles songs.

Not much by the Beatles have been overlooked. As a group their songs have been inspected, dissected and analysed more than any other rock group. That doesn’t mean there still isn’t some out there hidden a little bit…. But this is for John, Paul, George and Ringo on their own…some songs you don’t hear as much. Just one each right now.

I Know (I know) – John Lennon off of Mind Games. Some say it was written as a message to Paul and it does have some Beatles references in there. John said later it was about Yoko…it could be both or neither…Personally I think it’s about both…It’s a wonderful pop song nonetheless. I just recently started to listen to this song again. My favorite Lennon solo song after 1971.

Junior’s Farm – Paul McCartney…It was an A side to a single… It was a hit but it’s not played much anymore. It was recorded in Nashville. I wished he would have made more like this…the rawness that Paul can do well when he wants to…which is not very much. Sally G the B side is a quaint country song of it’s time. It was also recorded in Nashville. It’s a fun song  that was influenced by his trip to the Music City in 1974.

Any Road – George Harrison recorded this for his last album Brainwashed before he died. It was finished up by his son Dhani Harrison and Jeff Lynne. It has the trademark slide guitar by George who had a slide style completely his own. George always got swallowed up by the enormity of John and Paul but he wrote some great songs.

Early 1970 – Ringo Starr wrote this song and is it a great song? No not really but he makes it perfectly clear he wanted to play with the remaining Beatles…and what he felt about each one at the time. For a Beatles fan it is interesting to hear this. Ringo had a lot of hits in the early 1970’s and this one was not one of them. As a fan you were pulling for him.

A few things from the 70s

If I could have been a teenager in any decade it would have been the 1970s. I barely remember the 70s  I grew up mostly in the 80s. I was always envious of people who grew up in the decade before I did…. Great music, split level houses, earth tones, funky clothes, cool cars, great tv shows and bad variety shows…so bad they were great…. Everyone and everything had their own personality. It was a decade where all generations intersected with each other. You had a  with Tim Conway, Kiss, Florence Henderson (singing That Old Black Magic no less) Donny and Marie!, Margaret Hamilton and the eternal Betty White. What other decades would have that and Saturday Night Live….with Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, and Chevy Chase…

I’m not saying anything bad didn’t happen…they did… Jonestown, Kent State, Watergate, Iran hostages, inflation and gas shortages and more. But every decade has its tragedies and bad things.

Really good things were no cell phones, no AIDs, we had vinyl records and we would study the front cover art or picture and the fold out for hours, real honest to goodness rock stars who had talent, no auto-tune, pictures that were not doctored so much you weren’t sure they were real, Intellivision, Atari games, libraries were still relevant, hanging out with friends after school, not nearly as much commercialism (fewer choices to make), more freedom, individualism, you could tell a Ford from a Chevy, Now everyone wants the same things because we are hit with ads 24/7 to be like everyone else.

The 1980s is when commercialism really started in full earnest.

In the 70s people and companies were not afraid to take chances to do something different and new…like movies, houses and cars….even if you didn’t like them (AMC Pacer!) at least you weren’t seeing the same thing in different colors. Yes disco was there but I still like it better than boy groups now. Real musicians played on them. I will admit the lit dance floors were pretty cool…that’s all I will give disco. You could go and see The Who, Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder for 12 bucks and under…sometimes cheaper.

Many people would disagree with the 70s but I still like the chaise lounge chairs with the groovy fuzzy feeling (I have one), green shag carpet the dark restaurants and Star Wars! Before the awful….for the most part Star War prequels.

I can think of many more things both good and bad. I just wish I could have seen more of the seventies at an older age than I was then. But I enjoyed what I had of them…I just wished we had more individualism now.

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Can’t forget the Pacer (rolling fish aquarium on wheels)

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The best Peanut Butter ever…KOOGLE… it came in 4 flavors and Banana was my favorite. I so wish Kraft would bring this back…I really miss this…