Friday, May 24, 2013

Rifftrax Exterminates Doctor Who and the Daleks

The following takes place more or less after "Nightmare in Silver":

The Doctor stretched out inside the control room of the TARDIS. He thought back of his tangle with the Cybermen, and how he turned into Mr. Clever.
"I was definitely more interesting than Locutus of Borg", he said to himself, "but I'd rather be boring and save people.
"Oooooooooohh, I need a break from all this. I should take in a movie," the Doctor said. "But which movie?"

Suddenly, the TARDIS whooshed and whomped. It seemed to know where the Doctor had to be.....

It landed on a man-made asteroid called Netbox. It's billed as the biggest movie multiplex in the universe, where creatures can literally see any movie that's made anywhere.
The Doctor met one of the employees, a guy named Odeon Loews. He was literally born in a tuxedo, with his name embroidered on the birth.

"Well, Odeon", the Doctor said, "what movies can you recommend?"

"Well, I don't know," Odeon said, "you probably saw the blockbusters we get from Earth by breaking every law of physics in the book. However, we do have a section where we show specialty movies."

"Is that so?", the Doctor wondered. "Do you have that Shakespeare movie made at some director's house? I have heard a lot of good things about it."

"No, that's still out in some film festival a couple of light years away. It'll be at Netbox next month. Actually, I do have a movie from what I call 'the Rifftrax series'"

"Rifftrax? Isn't that bad movies with justifiable commentary? They'll take on anybody, even Star Wars..or The Avengers. Understandable, considering who they used to be. I hear they're trying to riff on Twilight as part of their live shows."

"That's right," Odeon said. "but they couldn't pull it off. They'll take on Starship Troopers, which I say is more deserving of heckling because this movie is so cheesy it's asking for it."
"Well, I'll look forward to it. Let's see what Rifftrax movies you have."

The Doctor looked at the list of Rifftrax movies carefully. He saw titles that just scream "cheesy movies": Kingdom of the Spiders, The Apple, Voodoo Man, The Guy From Harlem, Doctor Who and the Daleks, Nightmare at Noon, Psycho II....
"DOCTOR WHO AND THE DALEKS???", the Doctor roared.

Odeon was worried. He didn't like unsatisfied movie patrons. He still hadn't recovered from the Lindsay Lohan Film Festival.

"My apologies, Doctor," Odeon said. "I didn't..."

"On the contrary, I am surprised they took this long to target this movie. I know it well. Any resemblance between me and this movie's version of me is accidental at best. Peter Cushing was OK as me, but he acted too much like my original form. I liked him better when he was in cheesy but scary Hammer horror movies."

"Oh, that's a relief. How did they get away with making a movie about you? It's like trying to make a movie about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and forget to include Joss Whedon. I know someone tried."

"In 1965, I didn't talk too much about myself," the Doctor explained. "I didn't admit I was a Time Lord, or where I was from. So, they could make a movie about me, say I'm from Earth, and claim my last name is Who. They can also make my granddaughter Susan nine years old and a bit of a smart-aleck. I don't think it was a good idea giving me a granddaughter named Barbara who has a klutzy boyfriend named Ian. To me, Ian and Barbara are two very different people who would have made an more interesting movie.
"Then again, a lot of people wanted to see a movie that's almost about me, battling full-color Daleks on the big screen. A better story would have helped. That's why I want to see this movie riffed."

"Well, I'll just get that movie," Odeon said, "and we can see it attacked while sipping on Shush-O's and snacking on Smarties."

"Great idea," the Doctor said. "I need to relax."

So, Odeon and the Doctor saw what you'd get if you made a Doctor Who movie if the BBC wasn't involved.

The movie is actually a different version of the first Daleks story that aired on the show in late 1963. In it, the Doctor is involved in a battle between the Daleks, who are evil beings out to destroy and exterminate, and the Thals, who prefer to be peaceful.
Also, the reason the Doctor couldn't get the real Susan, Ian and Barbara back to Earth is that the Doctor had a tough time trying to get to where he wanted to go. That was especially true when the show began.
In this movie, the Daleks are ruthless, but the producers just couldn't let the Daleks use ray guns or flame throwers. That's why you see one Thal get killed by a deadly fire extinguisher. They also spend too much time standing around, especially one Dalek named Carl. At least, that's according to the Rifftrax crew. The Thals, meanwhile, look like a race of exotic Graham Chapmans with too much eyeliner.

As we begin we see Susan, the Buffy from Family Affair of the group, reading a book on physics. Barbara, the other granddaughter and a Lulu knockoff, reads a book on science. Doctor Who, which is his name because he's British in this movie, reads the comics. Actually, that's close to the Doc we have now. Ian, Barbara's boyfriend, stumbles into the movie literally as the comic relief. The Doctor eventually shows everyone TARDIS, which is the famous time machine disguised as a police box, bigger inside, etc. At least Susan gives some explanation of why it's bigger inside than outside (a better one comes in Robots of Death), but not about why the interior looks like the basement of Hewlett-Packard.
Thanks to Ian kissing Barbara and pushing the wrong lever, the group is sent to Skaro, where they are in the middle of the battle between the Daleks and Thals. Getting into the plot, such as it is, isn't the point. It's how Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy respond to it.

Right off the bat, Mike says "Regal Films" makes films about Queen and Queen-related things. Kevin is disappointed this movie has nothing to do with Freddie Mercury. Bill is even more shocked that the movie has nothing to do with the BBC Doctor Who. After being sedated, the movie begins.

We see Barbara and her science book...

Kevin: She can Jon my Pertwee anytime

Fake Ian Chesterton stumbles in

Bill: British Dick Van Dyke
Kevin: Oh, so he'll do an indescribably bad Brookyln acccent

TARDIS takes off, but without the familiar sound of it launching

Bill: Where's the noise like an old Edsel dying?

About ten minutes in, Bill and Mike act like two kinds of Doctor Who fans:

Bill as the post-2005 fan: He's not an alien, he's not young and dashing, he doesn't have a weird psycho-sexual yearning for his super-hot companion. I mean, what is Doctor Who all about if not that?

Mike as the old-school Who fan: It's about slow, silent group trudges through sound stages.

Then the Daleks show up, and we get the perfect riff:

Mike in Dalek voice: Welcome to the Island of Misfit Sex Toys.

You can also expect riffs about The Wire, Craig Ferguson, Kate Upton, Cirque Du Soleil, Millard Fillmore, TMZ, Legend of Zelda, the previous forms of the real Doctor, and Kevin complaining about a scene showing "a couple of stupid robots sitting in front of a dumb movie".
Just think about that riff.

Here's the link to the movie sample from Rifftrax. This may be the ultimate crossover of one famous sci-fi show heckling a movie sort of based on another famous sci-fi show. It makes me wish for the day Buffy the Vampire Slayer joins the Rifftrax crew to mock that  movie that also isn't about her.
At least in that case, the movie came before she got the job.

Garibaldi's Got Talent

David Garibaldi

Remember this guy?
Performance artist David Garibaldi makes incredible paintings in minutes, usually by using inspiration through music. He almost won America's Got Talent. Here's a little clip...

He was almost as popular as Tesla, the Kings or Kevin Johnson at the Kings rally at Cesar Chavez Plaza. While his painting was broadcast live online, I tried to get him at mid-stroke to show his passion for speed-painting.

Instant classic

This is his process of making a painting of Michael Jackson...

What's next?

Garibaldi action painting

and of John Lennon...

Looks Like Lennon

Shooting blue

Garibaldi finishes Lennon painting

He also made an 3-D painting with the theme, "Here We Stayed"...

Only half a face?

Now, Garibaldi's Crowning Achievement

Stage 2 of Crowning Achievement

Stage 3 of Crowning Achievement

Finished? Not yet

The ultimate instant 3-D Garibaldi painting

So, when they start building the new arena, they should ask Garibaldi to design part of it. He'll make it one of the most unique places around.

Long Live the Kings, again

Clearly I took too many pictures at the downtown rally for the Kings Thursday night..or at least too many for one blog. So...part 2

First off, I met this guy at the very long line into the Plaza. His shirt makes him look good and razzes the Maloofs for trying to move the Kings to several places. With the money they wasted..then lost due to bad investments, they would have been smarter building a new arena.

How to razz the Maloofs and be in fashion

There was a really long banner, where fans got to sign their names and write their feelings about the team...and the fact that they're staying...

Sign your name

This is the other side of the banner, with the ultimate timeline for the team...

Sacramento Kings: 1985-Forever

Some Kings players, past and present, were there like Isiah Thomas....

Isiah Thomas

Tyreke Evans..

Tyreke Evans

and Chris Webber, who led the team when they almost made the finals--if not for a suspicious ref, or free throws that went awry...

Chris Webber salutes fans

and the one and only voice of the Kings, Gary Gerrold

Still the Voice of the Kings

Here's a picture of Kevin Johnson with Vivek Ranadive. While their backs are to us, it still represents the future...

The future

Thanks to his efforts of getting the Kings new owners and the prospect of a new arena, he's signing more autographs now than when he was with the Phoenix Suns...

Just like his playing days....

and...this guy who was ringing a cowbell all through the rally...

What the Kings need is more cowbell

True, Seattle would have had a big rally of its own if the NBA approved its proposal to move the Kings to Seattle. Still, it would not have as much excitement, optimism or love as what was generated at Cesar Chavez Plaza that Thursday night.
Seattle wanted the Kings because it didn't do enough to keep the SuperSonics in town. Sacramento wanted the Kings more, because their desire is real, their support is real, their love for the team is real, and it is forever.

Long Live the Sacramento Kings

Kings fans

Two years ago, thousands of Sacramento Kings fans gathered in Cesar Chavez Plaza, trying to gather support to stop the Kings from moving to Anaheim. That eventually worked, but it led to new concerns the team would move to Seattle.

This part Thursday, thousands of fans gathered at the Plaza, but this time they had no fears. They gathered to celebrate the future of the Sacramento Kings. This time, there are no fears the team will leave. This time...

The ultimate instant 3-D Garibaldi painting

This instant painting made in minutes by performance artist David Garibaldi, who made a splash during America's Got Talent last summer.

It was quite a carnival as people wore their finest Kings jerseys and caps, and even a foam finger, like this kid did...

He's number one

and these two fans who had their own idea about what they should call the new downtown arena...

Kings' Castle?

Calling an arena a castle may have a nice ring. For a few years, they called the arena in Anaheim a pond.

There were also these fans...

Sign Lady

This woman;s shirt says it all

Then the crowd did a very popular dance, the KJ...

Doing the DJ

It's what Mayor Johnson did when he heard the deal came through

There was also Frank Hannon of Tesla playing "Love Song", with this woman singing lead..

The new owner's daughter sings

They were later joined by Jeff Keith, also of Tesla...

Anjali with two parts of Tesla

So who is she? She is Anjili, daughter of....

Vivek Ranadive

Vivek Ranadive. He's currently co-owner of the Warriors, but he'll soon be part of the new Kings ownership group. He plans to turn around the Kings the way he did with Golden State in recent years. Here he is with Mayor Johnson, as they were talking to TV reporters...

The Mayor and the new team owner

And for you fans of Glee, Chord Overstreet....

Chord Overstreet

His dad wrote "Forever and Ever Amen", familiar to Randy Travis fans.

To close this, let's have this kind have the last word...on his sign..

Sign Kid

Long live the Sacramento Kings, but the day they break ground on the new arena next to Downtown Plaza really will be the first day of the rest of our lives...and the team

Friday, May 17, 2013

Here We'll Stay

Mayor Johnson Meets With Fans

Well, so much for my Sonic Kings idea....thank goodness.

So now the Kings have new owners with deep pockets and big dreams that will include a new arena next to the soon-to-be-resurrected Downtown Plaza. I can see a super Kings store in that shopping mall's future...and maybe the Hard Rock Café could come back.

We Did IT!

Mayor Johnson held court at City Hall early Friday morning to make the announcement that the team will stay in Sacramento. Every TV reporter in town was there, plus about 50 fans. There were even city employees getting a very good view:

Happy City Employees

Johnson did thank the Seattle group for its efforts to get back in the NBA, and even the Maloofs for their years as owners.
Only one person from the new ownership was there: local businessman Mark Friedman, who was part of the creation of Arden Fair Mall. Making a downtown version of that would go a long way.

From Arden Fair to a new Downtown Arena

The biggest cheers went to this guy: Carmichael Dave, former KHTK employee and now the head of "#HereWeStay", the group who wants the Kings to stay in town. Anyone who traveled in an RV trying to convince every NBA owner to reject moving the team to Seattle is a man on a mission.

Here We Bought, Here We Will Stay

So, the next step is getting the ownership papers signed and notarized. Then, Mayor Johnson says a bigger rally will be held at Cesar Chavez Park Thursday at 5 PM. This link has some details, but how wild will it get? Well, here are some pictures from the last rally two years ago, when Anaheim tried to buy the team...

Sorry, Anaheim

One shot could have changed things

Present and the future

Oh, and they'll be a band you may have heard of: Cake! Expect "The Distance" to be played, along with "Never There" (in honor of the Maloofs and Seattle's attempt to take the Kings).

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Iron Man 3: Same Villain, But Different Hero (Spoilers Ahoy)

Forget Paris! This is the real fashion statement

It looks like Iron Man 3 will be the best second sequel since maybe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King or Return of the Jedi. In some ways, this new chapter used the same bad guy as the other two, only with a twist. However, it forced Tony Stark to fight without his "iron cocoon", and stop being "a man in a can". That's why it earned more than 650 million bucks worldwide in a little over a week, and how Leonardo DiCaprio is going to get smoked by another playboy who, unlike Gatsby, got his girl. It also doesn't help that F. Scott Fitzgerald has been turned into a  Pitbull/Busby Berkeley video mashup in 3-D, but let's get to the point...

In the first two IM flicks, Tony was battling an evil businessman. In the third, same story: Aldrich Killian, played by Guy Pearce, first arrives in a movie as Tony and his then-girlfriend-of-the-moment as they prepare for the new year of 2000. Tony promises to meet with Killian, but doesn't. We also hear about Extremis, a serum that can regenerate the body. It's impressive, unless you're Claire Bennett. We also see the stuff is very unstable. In fact, it's responsible for half the explosions in the movie. We see Killian again, not so nerdy this time, trying to recruit Pepper Potts into his fold. We soon find out he's using Extremis for his evil plans...and even recruited Maya, played by Rebecca Hall, who was the girl Tony was with that New Year's Eve. Lesson: never stiff anyone, especially on New Year's Eve.

What does make Killian different is how he's connected to the Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley. This is the big spoiler that has upset some Marvel fans. Turn away if you haven't see this....

OK.. it turns out the Mandarin is a front. It's like finding out Osama Bin Laden was hired by Blackwater and Rupert Murdoch to keep us scared and agree to anything. Some are upset because we don't see the Mandarin of Marvel lore: a Chinese warlord, supposedly the descendant to Genghis Khan, with special rings that would do as much damage as super-soldiers loaded with Extremis. Why don't we have that in this movie?

Well, the movie is funded by Chinese investors. They wouldn't like a modern Fu Manchu, or a new Mandarin in a business suit, and is an intelligent and very dangerous man.
Making him a puppet of Aldrich, though, is a really nice swerve. That's why the real Big Bad is way ahead of the other two.

The other wise move is forcing Tony Stark to fight with the basics, usually a gun, or homemade gizmos that deal with bad guys. If he wasn't Iron Man, he'd be very popular at SHIELD. When his suit goes haywire and he winds up in Tennessee, where one of the Extremis soldiers blew up, he has to use his wits to figure out what happened. Come to think of it, that's how he built his first suit in an Afghan cave. A few people moaned over his scenes with Ty Simpkins as Harley, but they were pretty good. The kid already knew a lot, and is more helpful that a few thousand of those kids in Gamera/Prince of Space movies.

It was also a great idea of have Tony suffer major after-effects from the climax of The Avengers, where Iron Man had to divert a nuclear bomb through a wormhole to take care of the Chitauri. Who wouldn't suffer PTSD after that? There was a suggestion to recreate the "Demon In a Bottle" story, and maybe they switched it with the "panic attacks". That's my guess, mainly because he refused a beer from one of the friendlier bad guys.

As for Pepper, what happened to her in the last 30 minutes was very surprising. Yes, she does wear the suit at one point, but that was to protect someone else. She doesn't have one made for her, although they should work on that.

Iron Man 3 is the start to the road to Avengers 2 in 2015. If Joss Whedon's hint of "your own worst enemy" is part of the final story, maybe that means Tony slips again. How that may also apply to Captain America, Thor, Hulk and Black Widow may be hinted over the next year or so. His influence is felt in the "Phase 2" period of Marvel movies, which is why he got "special thanks" in the credits. It may also explain the post-credits scene at the end.
For now, let's enjoy the trip, as it's starting very well. Your turn, Thor.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Super Groovy Time In Sacramento

Smodquee for Kevin Smith

A long time ago, Kevin Smth tried to turn his classic movie Clerks into a cartoon show. ABC tried it for a while, but decided to end it after a few episodes. Looking back, it was an idea that was given to the wrong network a few years too early.

Now, Jason Mewes decided to turn a script Kevin had that featured those stoner super-heroes Bluntman and Chronic into a cartoon movie. So far, it's been well-received by fans as it's been presented as a roadshow. This past Tuesday, it reached the Crest Theater in Sacramento.

Small Posters

I waited until the last second to get a ticket. Granted, it was the cheap seats, but it's a much better view than the last row of  Hall H in San Diego, even if it doesn't include a big screen. This was my view...

Kevin and Jay from my seat

It was a pretty good deal: you get wry comments from Kevin and Jay,  and a way-out animation feast with a story better than whatever Battleship or Transform3rs could scrape together. Hearing an evil villain with the voice of Bubbles from Powerpuff Girls is kinda weird. Seeing Eliza Dushku as the main Big Bad, though, is more than worth it...or Neil Gaiman as the heroes' butler.

Anywho, it's about Jay and Silent Bob deciding to be super heroes after avoiding the chance to be heroes in three other familiar ways. The only reason the villains hate Bluntman and Chronic is, well, the same reason Callisto hates Xena (or the "it's your fault more or less that I'm evil" reason). It's got plenty of obscene but witty jokes, especially a comment on how Michael Bay will retcon the creation of a certain group of mutant turtles. The movie is preceded by Kevin and Jay's "Cartoon Lagoon" where they try to placate a shark named Benchley with a cartoon that's a spoof of Gremlins.

Then there's the podcast part, called Jay and Silent Bob Get Old It included Jason's really gross story about him having sex with his wife...

Scuzzy Sex Story from Jay

They also talk about a few other things, from The Dark Knight Rises to how just trying to make your own podcast can improve your life. They also fielded questions from the audience.

Jay and Noisy Kevin Podcastin'

and in this one, Kevin tries to cast a future Justice League movie..if and when that ever happens...

Casting the Smodco version of Justice League?

It wound up with a game where three people tried to come up with some pretty weird sex positions. One position involved doing pretty obscene things while writing a story for the Sacramento Bee. Good news is this will be released a podcast, and eventually on home video.

I was hoping to show Kevin my copy of a 2005 issue of TV Guide Canada where he and Jason were on the cover. They were in a few episodes of DeGrassi back then. I was hoping they'd sign it, but they had to go. If I somehow manage get to Comic-Con this year, I'll try again.

So, it was a super-groovy time, and here's hoping Kevin and Jason come back soon.