Archive for December, 2011

Round up #3: War of the Worlds recognized, Star Wars got game

December 29, 2011

Round up #3: War of the Worlds recognized, Star Wars got game

Darth Gamer

Watch out, WoW!

World of Warcraft may have a serious challenger on its hands.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

is an MMORPG…a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. Some people might also call them a “black hole for your life”. 😉

In this new one, you play in the Star Wars universe. Unlike a typical videogame you might play, many of the characters with whom you interact are other actual people playing the game.

This

Daily Mail article

has some interesting stats.

The game was officially released on December 20. Since then, there have been 810,000 Jedi created…and 850,000 Sith.

Of course, at one point, in England, you could tick a box to mark your religion as Jedi in an official census, as I recall. 🙂

There have been millions of hours already played…and according to the article, billions of enemies killed.

I’m going to recommend that you read the article. In addition to nice screenshots, they have some good speculation about where the MMORPG world is going.

War of the World Selected for the 2011 National Film Registry

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today announced the movies selected to enter the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress for 2011.

http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2011/11-240.html

George Pal’s 1953 version of H.G. Wells’ novel War of the Worlds is classic science fiction. I think the effects still hold up and its smart and thrilling at the same time.

It’s also a clever adaptation…differing significantly from the book (and from Orson Welles’ 1938 radio broadcast).

Among the 25 inductees were Disney’s Bambi and Forrest Gump.

You can nominate movies for next year

http://www.loc.gov/film/

Note that the winners aren’t just given a statue, but are selected for preservation by the government.

Good-bye, Cheetah

Honestly, this one makes me sad.

There’s been a campaign for some time to get Cheetah (‘Tarzan’s chimpanzee friend in the movie) a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Cheetah wouldn’t be the first animal, but one of the things would have been that one of the apes who played Cheetah could have actually attended the ceremony.

Cheetah reportedly died Saturday (Christmas Eve) at age 80. He had continued to be in the news…and was supposed to be enjoying life. He watched TV, listened to music, and was still entertaining people he met.

You can donate to the foundation where he lived…they are trying to raise funds to build a medical building in his honor:

http://suncoastprimate.homestead.com/

Giving us the Yeti finger

Loren Coleman, a writer in the field of cryptozoology and Forteana whom i particularly enjoy, has written this

report in Cryptomundo

about a recent DNA analysis of the Pangboche Yeti finger. Coleman does a good job of recounting the story, and it may be familiar to some of you. It’s a fascinating tale, but I’ll just sum it up by saying that a supposed part of a Yeti hand was smuggled out of Tibet in the late 1950s. I don’t want to take too much away from Loren, so I’m going to leave you with that and recommend you read the article.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

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The Three Stooges trailer: two thumbs up, or two fingers in the eyes?

December 18, 2011

The Three Stooges trailer: two thumbs up, or two fingers in the eyes?

For many people, the Three Stooges are iconic. When I was in high school, students were actually expressly forbidden from “stooging” other students (an open handed straight-on slap to the forehead).

For other people, they see them as minor cinematic figures…curiousities, perhaps.

I think Leonard Maltin put it best when the movie critic said (approximately): “The world is divided into two kinds of people. Those who like The Three Stooges, and those who wonder why.”

So, with a

new Three Stooges movie

scheduled for release on April 13, 2012 (and directed by the Farrelly brothers). it’s natural for some of us to be very curious about it (and others to care very little). 😉

The first real test was the casting, and there were some interesting names floated. At one point, it sounded like it might be Jim Carrey as Curly, Sean Penn as Larry, and Benicio del Toro as Moe.

We don’t know Moe: Larry & Curly cast in Stooges movie

We got that all out of the way: MadTV’s Will Sasso as Curly, Will & Grace’s Sean Hayes as Larry, and 24’s Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe.

There are a lot of celebrities (yes, that’s Larry David as a nun) as well.

The second big test is the first trailer…and it’s here now:

http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi6921753/

It does answer some important questions:

  • The Stooges are the Stooges…there isn’t any kind of radical rebooting going on
  • The movie is contemporary (there is a gag about an iPhone)
  • It doesn’t seem to be complicating it (that’s a good thing…no meta nudge-nudges in the trailer)
  • They are trying to attract younger audiences as well (Snooki appears in the trailer)
  • There is a gag in the trailer that wouldn’t have been in the original Stooges, but tonally, it generally fits

How about the acting?

It’s tough to get a real sense from a trailer. I will say that Sean Hayes appears to be getting the balance right as Larry. The “stooge in the middle’ is arguably the hardest of the three to play. There are less obvious elements than for Moe or Curly…you don’t see t-shirts with Larry’s catchphrases on them.

Will Sasso as Curly? I’ll need to see more. Sasso seems a little frantic in the bits we see…Curly could be frantic, certainly, over the top so…but that’s not all of him.

I’m going to withhold comment on Diamantopoulos’ Moe for now…I need more data. 🙂 It takes some work not to just make Moe mean, and they may not show us those scenes in a trailer.

Take a look at it, and feel free to tell me what you think.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

Harry Morgan reported dead

December 11, 2011

Harry Morgan reported dead

If you wanted a definition of laconic, it was Harry Morgan‘s portrayal of Bill Gannon, Joe Friday’s partner on Dragnet. While he wasn’t Friday’s first partner, the low-key patter between Friday and Gannon is one thing many people remember. Not that Morgan wasn’t funny in the part…he would have these dry bits of humor that inspired parodies.

More people probably knew him as Colonel (Sherman) Potter on M*A*S*H.  Again, he followed another actor in a similar role…but established himself and made M*A*S*H his own.

While he did appear in important Hollywood movies (High Noon, The Ox-Bow Incident, The Teahouse of the August Moon), Morgan was especially suited for television. We get to know our TV characters in a different way than the characters on the big screen. They become part of our lives…people we see every week. In the case of Harry Morgan, they may become our friends.

He had regular or recurring roles in more than ten TV series…from December Bride on up to 3rd Rock from the Sun.

You won’t hear this mentioned much in the mainstream coverage, but I also remember him from The Cat from Outer Space…and The Barefoot Executive. These are two of Disney’s 1970s live action comedies…high concept (the barefoot executive is a chimp who picks TV shows at a network) with solid performers…like Harry Morgan.

Good-bye, Harry Morgan…our living rooms are a little more empty without you.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.


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