Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Fans rage against proposed Wizard of Oz remake

August 25, 2019

Fans rage against proposed Wizard of Oz remake

A major studio wants to take Oz fans on another trip down the yellow brick road, but they’d just as soon stay in Kansas.

“I don’t know why Hollywood can’t come up with more original ideas! All they do is the same old thing, and they are never as good as the original,” said one irate member of the large and vocal Oz fan community.

The casting seems to be a particular concern.

“There was one obvious choice for Dorothy and they couldn’t get her. What, are they on the third choice? Pinkie something? And all the comedians! The Wizard, Glinda…and Mr. Gnong-gnong-gnong? Ridiculous!”

The production has been troubled. Injuries have been rampant, including a major actor’s hospitalization (and he was eventually replaced in the part). 14 writers and 5 directors have worked on the movie. It has reportedly run significantly over budget. Maybe the Wicked Witch has placed a curse on it…or perhaps its the collective thoughts of the vast Oz fandom.

We managed to find a producer of the movie who would speak on condition of anonymity.

“We just feel like new technology is giving us a new approach to the story. We’re really experimenting here, and I think it’s going to look nothing like the old version. If the fans will give it a chance, I think they’ll like it.”


Well, in case you haven’t guessed by now, I’ve been describing the version you probably think of as¬†the Wizard of Oz: the 1939 musical version with Judy Garland. Various versions of Oz had appeared on screen before. This, though, was the first sound version, and it was going to take advantage of new color processes.

That color brought major changes: the Wicked Witch wasn’t green in the books, and Dorothy has silver slippers, not ruby ones.

The name “Pinkie” I used? Judy Garland had played “Pinkie” Wingate in Listen, Darling the previous year. There were a lot of comedians: they tried to get W.C. Fields for the Wizard, and Billie Burke was known for comedy before playing Glinda.

One of the fans’ biggest concerns was Bert Lahr, who was a well-known comedian…that gnong-gnong-gnong was basically his catchphrase. Oz fandom really was big, and the Cowardly Lion was supposed to be big, too…the mightiest of the beasts in Oz, and one of Ozma’s main bodyguards (even with the fear factor). Fans were afraid Bert Lahr would largely just do his schtick…New York accent and all, and that’s not far off.

The movie was not a blockbuster in 1939, although it was not a major loser. It only became the beloved American classic we know today after repeated television showings.

I wanted to write this after I saw reaction online to someone floating the idea of Wizard of Oz remake, and how just about every respondent thought it was a terrible idea. I’m sure many of them would have reacted to the idea of the 1939 movie the same way. ūüôā

I generally like to find the good in things, and I wrote this back in 2010:

Hooray for remakes!

I need to update it and add in some more…and I think I may have been a bit harsh on some that I cited as reasons not to like remakes.

My main point, I suppose, is that there have been good remakes…and just rejecting the whole idea out of hand is easy, but if there weren’t ever any remakes, we wouldn’t have some real classics.

Feel free to tell me what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project (AKA Enwoven)! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

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

 

 

Santa Claus is Coming Online

December 21, 2018

Santa Claus is Coming Online
(sung to the tune of Santa Claus is Coming To Town by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie)

You’d better boot up
You’d better log on
Type in your password before he’s gone
Santa Claus is coming online

He’s surfing the net
He’s downloading posts
He doesn’t like flames and he doesn’t like toasts
Santa Claus is coming online

He’s filling in his spreadsheet
He’s got data entry elves
They’re unzipping all the archives
So you’d better behave yourselves

The reindeer downsized
Blitzen retired
The sleigh’s pretty light since the Pole got wired

Santa Claus is coming online
Cyber Claus is coming online
Santa Claus is coming…online!

I wrote this years ago…possibly decades. ūüôā I’m actually surprised by how much of it still makes sense when tech changes so rapidly. I had to check, but I don’t think I’ve published this in The Measured Circle before.

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard !

All aboard our The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

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

AFD News: Disney finds its Mickey Mouse for live action Steamboat Willie: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

July 17, 2017

AFD News: Disney finds its Mickey Mouse for live action Steamboat Willie: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Note: this is a work of humor. Disney has not announced a live action reboot of the first released (1928) Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie. 

July 17, 2017 (AFD News)

At Disney’s D23 fan expo over the weekend, the dominant pop culture company had news about their Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney properties. They saved the first for last, surprising the enthusiastic crowd when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson took the stage to introduce the first teaser trailer for Disney’s live action reboot of the first released Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie.

This would continue the collaboration between the two entertainment giants, following Moana and The Jungle Cruise.

Johnson was joined on stage by other cast members: Johnson’s Fast & Furious co-star Michelle Rodriguez as Minnie Mouse, Lewis Black as Pete, Jim Parsons, Paul Reubens, and Sean Hayes as Huey, Dewey, and Louie, Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainor, and Rihanna as April, May, and June, Kevin Hart as a parrot, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson as Robert Fulton. While not appearing on stage, Andy Serkis, Kate McKinnon, and Neil Patrick Harris will each play multiple undisclosed roles.

Directors Matt and Ross Duffler (Stranger Things) explained that the seven-minute cartoon will be expanded in part by increasing the passenger carrying element of the original, which explains the presence of Donald and Daisy Duck’s nephews and nieces. “That opens up a lot more possibilities for characters from the shorts to appear, but we can’t talk about that,” said the brothers. While the teaser did not reveal much more, sharp-eyed audience members noted that the steamboat was named “Disney Fantasy”, which is the name of one of Disney’s cruise ships.

The one scene in the clip, while clearly preliminary footage, showed Rodriguez in an update of the famous “panty hook scene”, in which a crane lifted up Minnie’s skirt and tucked into her underwear to lift her on to the boat. In an amusing update, Rodriguez (wearing pants) grabs the crane to swing on to the ship, despite the presence of a gang-plank.

When asked about his interpretation of the character, Johnson responded, “Mickey’s the man! The mouse is a total bad@ss.”

The movie will begin filming when Johnson completes his current commitments, and is scheduled for release to coincide with the movie’s 100th anniversary in 2028.

As a reminder, this is just a joke…not that I wouldn’t be there opening weekend! Or, you know, in virtual reality…

 

 

 

Stupid pitch: Ozpocalypse (Ozquad #1)

August 19, 2016

Stupid pitch: Ozpocalypse (Ozquad #1)

This may be the first in a series of humor pieces where I propose what I really think are stupid ideas for movies, TV  shows,  and so on. The purpose is to shine a light on something serious with humor.

Studio executive: “Okay, whaddaya got?”

Moviemaker: “It’s got everything you like. It’s perfect for the summer!”

Studio executive: “Blah, blah. Why is it safe and how will it make me money?”

Moviemaker: “It’s a reboot of a well-known property with a built-in fanbase. Yet, it’s been modernized to swim with the blockbuster tentpoles.”

Studio executive: “Three minutes.”

Moviemaker:¬† “What’s the most beloved movie property of all time?”

Studio executive: “Porn?”

Moviemaker: “The Wizard of Oz. We–“

Studio executive: “We’re done here. Disney just did it. it wasn’t a big hit, and they claim infringement when somebody makes Mickey Mouse pancakes for their kid. Disappointing box office and Disney lawyers? I’m out.”

Moviemaker: “I can see where you are coming from, but the source material is public domain…nobody owns it. That also means no author to pay. Ours isn’t like theirs at all. It’s a mismatched group of heroes fighting a big CGI baddy who uses magic…The Avengers meets Harry Potter!”

Studio executive:¬† “I’m listening again. Two minutes and thirty five seconds.”

Moviemaker: “Dorothy Gale is a tween in Kansas. She’s using an augmented reality program like Pok√©mon Go, where she follows¬†an avatar of a little black dog. It’s called TotoGo. She gets caught up in a weird virus thing called Twister, and finds that her¬†social media history has been deleted.¬†A mysterious figure says she should go for help to a government official, The Wizard.

Along the way, she connects with a legendary hacker who uses multiple identities and only appears wearing a mask, like Anonymous…called The Strawman. Despite that name, we want to cast a woman in the part…maybe Jenna Ushkowitz, Aubrey Plaza, or Michelle¬† Rodriguez.

The Strawman brings along an artificially intelligent war robot which failed to follow instructions, not going into dangerous situations when its existence was threatened. It’s a quadruped, and they call it the Neurologically Enhanced Remote Vehicle Experiment: NERVE. We’ll use Google’s Big Dog robot, and we’re thinking Kevin Hart for the voice.

They also connect with a former Special Forces soldier who favors an axe in battle. Code name: Heartless. His catchphrase: “I couldn’t do this if I cared.” We want Dwayne Johnson. Hart and Johnson already have a hit together.

When they get to The Wizard, he sends them on a suicide mission against the cyberterrorist believed to actually be behind Twister: the Wicked Wicked Witch…Triple Dub, like the World Wide Web.

Turns out Triple Dub is actually possessed by an ancient demon. There’s a huge battle…we’re thinking at least 45 minutes of CGI action. Triple Dub sends flying¬† monkeys against the four…lots of scenes of Heartless chopping monkeys out of the air. Strawman overcomes NERVE’s programming resistance temporarily, and the robot is¬†fearless and also splashes the screen with monkey guts, which should look great in 3D.

During the battle, we destroy the Yellow Brick Road and knock down large parts of the Emerald City.

The monkeys dismember Strawman. Heartless rides on NERVE to fight a Big Bad Henchman…a flying gorilla, like King Kong size.

That lets Dorothy get to Triple Dub, and the Kansas Kid dumps a sulfuric acid tank on her…we¬†see that death scene in detail.

Heartless, NERVE, and Dorothy are celebrating. Strawman is dying, but manages to croak out, “This is wrong. No computers…no¬†Twister.”

Dorothy realizes that The Wizard must really be responsible:  why would a demon use software?

Dorothy, Heartless, and NERVE head back to expose The Wizard.”

Studio executive: “What about that mystery figure who sent her to The Wizard in the first place?”

Moviemaker: “Good ear! We get shots of her in a monitoring center following Dorothy’s adventures, but she only calls her the ‘asset’. She uses the Magic Picture and the Great Book of Records to track her.”

Studio executive: “Is that going to make the fanboys mad?”

Moviemaker: “That’s one of the best things…Glinda actually does just that in the original books. She has a magic picture which shows her anything she thinks about, and a book that records everything that happens in the world. She really is a magical NSA.”

Studio executive: “Twenty seconds.”

Moviemaker: “Totogo helps Dorothy find The Wizard. They reveal him as a fraud, and he gets kicked out of power and sent to prison. Glinda mysteriously helps Dorothy restore everything (“There’s no page like homepage”) and we set up future Ozquad movies. Oh, and Strawman survived and is now outfitted with prosthetic limbs.”

Studio executive: “Sequels? Prequels?”

Moviemaker: “Tons. We’ve got a major trans character, a feminist overthrow of a city…diversity and action.”

Studio executive: “Give me one trailer: trailers are key.

Moviemaker: “I’ll give you two. The ‘Carnage’ trailer uses the Tim Curry version of “Anyone Who Had a Heart” as a soundtrack, and shows quick cuts of Heartless fighting, and the melting, but we don’t show who that is. The ‘Conspiracy’ trailer plays up the mystery and the tech…maybe Domo Arregato, Mr. Roboto, but we include dialogue. Not too much, of course.”

Studio executive: “Done. You get $125 million, and I want it in theatres in May.”

Moviemaker: “2020?”

Studio executive: “2018. We have an opening.”

Moviemaker: “That’s…um…not enough time to do it right.”

Studio executive: “Who cares about right? Just make it make money.”

Moviemaker: “Are you sure that’s worth the risk? What about those sequels? I’m just thinking about your future profits.”

Studio executive: “Bull. You want to make art. It ain’t about art…there’s a reason it’s called show BUSINESS, not show art. Get down with that, or get out.”

Moviemaker: “You’ll get your movie.”

Studio executive: “You bet I will…and your little avatar, too.”

The Measured Circle thinks this is a bad idea for a movie…and of course, only good ideas are ever made into movies…

Note: thanks to reader¬†davidleeingersoll who pointed out that¬†the initial name I used for the “movie series”, “Oz Squad”, had previously been used for a comic book series (I was unaware of that). To avoid confusion, I’ve made a change…and I’ll explicitly say that this has no connection to the Oz Squad comics (outside of source material, most likely), and I regret the accidental overlap. I have not read the comics myself, but if you are interested, here is the annotated paperback version:

The Complete, Annotated Oz Squad Volume I by Steve Ahlquist (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard !

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you‚Äôll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)‚Ķand the good feeling you‚Äôll get. :) Shop ‚Äôtil you help! :) By the way, it‚Äôs been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to ‚Äústart at AmazonSmile‚ÄĚ if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Yikkee-YaG (YKYAG: You Know You’re a Geek…) #1

January 2, 2014

Yikkee-YaG (YKYAG: You Know You’re a Geek…) #1

At The Measured Circle, being a geek is a good thing…we’re proud of it. ūüôā However, how do you know if you’re a geek? We decided to give you some indicators. Note: you can be a geek even if none of these are true for you, or if some are only partly true.

You know you’re a geek…if, even though you logically* know they will never happen, you have detailed contingency plans for what to do in the event of the zombie apocalypse, an attack by Godzilla, or you develop superpowers.

You know you’re a geek…when you can always remember Captain Kirk’s birthdate**, but aren’t so sure of your mother’s.

You know you’re a geek…when people say you don’t know how to dress appropriately***, but you would never wear a DC shirt to a Marvel movie.

You know you’re a geek…if you are proud of your lightning fast wit, and ignore the fact that it takes you two minutes to explain the joke**** to the other people in the room.

You know you’re a geek…if it doesn’t bother you when people ridicule your passions, unless they confuse your passions with somebody else’s passions*****, or use the wrong terminology when insulting you.

You know you’re a geek…if you find The Big Bang Theory amusing because that Penny character****** is so ridiculous: nobody really talks that way.

You know you’re a geek…if you think every single movie, TV show, and book deserves respect, no matter how bad it is*******.

* And you are really good at logic
** March 22, 2263
*** Like that time you wore a Batman belt buckle to your performance review
**** And they still don’t get it afterwards, but you think it is funny
***** How can people confuse Star Wars and Star Trek? One is in the future and one is in the past
****** Bonus indicator: you immediately realize Penny’s parallel with Marilyn on The Munsters. Bonus bonus indicator if you did that and The ¬†Munsters was on before you were born
******* Unless, you know, it’s a mainstream work ūüėČ

Note: using a convoluted structure like these footnotes is also an indicator…geeks find complexity fun.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Geekspun: Planet of the Apes biopic wins Best Picture

February 25, 2013

Geekspun: Planet of the Apes biopic wins Best Picture

This one is for fun. ūüôā I’m reporting the Oscars last night through the prism of geek-colored glasses, hyperbolically focusing on the geek-friendly elements (referring to actors by their fantasy/science fiction characters, for example). A lot of “mundanes” ūüėČ think that geeks never see anything outside their own areas of interest. That one doesn’t go just for “fen”, though:

‚ÄúBobby Fisher is a man obsessed with the game of chess.¬† When someone talks to him about another subject, he will listen impatiently and then demand, ‚ÄėBut what has that got do to with chess?‚Äô‚ÄĚ
‚ÄďJohn A. Keel
writing in The Eighth Tower
collected in The Mind Boggles: A Unique Book of Quotations

Daredevil accepted the award for Best Picture for Argo, the biopic of legendary Hollywood makeup artist (and alleged Bigfoot faker), John Chambers. Similarly to Lincoln, the movie had focused on a small part of the historic figure’s life, to make it more comprehensible. Bringing Chambers’ story to the big screen in an accessible manner for mainstream audiences won screenwriter Chris Terrio an Oscar as well. William Goldenberg (The Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Puppet Masters) was also honored for editing the movie.

It was a good night for felines, with best acting honors going to Kat(niss) Everdeen, Catwoman, and the tiger Richard Parker (who beat out The Hulk and Gollum in the Visual Effects category, now part of the five acting awards).

Wolverine ironically lost to John Proctor, a victim of a literal witch hunt in The Crucible (as opposed to the metaphorical one against the mutants…who actually have what amounts to magical powers, so a witch hunt for them kinda makes sense).

Dinosaurs were no match for crouching dragons, as Ang Lee took best directing honors over Steven Spielberg.

While there were some rough moments (Susan Tyrell wasn’t broadcast in the In Memoriam segment, although did appear offscreen in the supplement), all was forgiven when William Shatner was given a special lifetime achievement Oscar for Unmatchable Shatness. At least, we think that’s what happened…we were watching The Dark Knight Rises on a handheld during that part.

ūüėČ

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

2013 Ridiculous Oscar Predictors: Best Actress

January 21, 2013

2013 Ridiculous Oscar Predictors: Best Actress

  • Every actor nominated for Best Actress named Jennifer has won, therefore Jennifer Lawrence¬†must win (Jennifer Jones¬†is the only other actor named Jennifer to be nominated for Best Actress…and she won)
  • No only child born outside the USA who has been nominated for the first time for Best Actress has failed to take home the gold, therefore¬†Emmanuelle Riva¬†must win (Natalie Portman, born in Israel, won for Black Swan;¬†Charlize Theron, born in South Africa, won for Monster. Portman did not win when nominated as Supporting Actress for Closer, and Theron did not win with her second nomination for North Country)
  • Every movie primarily set in Thailand/Siam which has been nominated for an Oscar has won at least one. Since Naomi Watts¬†has the only Oscar nomination for¬†The Impossible, she must win (Anna and the King of Siam and The King and I both won Oscars. Around the World in 80 Days and Bridge on the River Kwai also won Oscars. American Gangster was nominated and did not win, but was not primarily set in Thailand ((although the country is part of the movie))
  • No actor nominated for Best Actress who was born in Louisiana has ever lost…therefore,¬†Quvenzhan√© Wallis¬†must win (both she and Reese Witherspoon, who won for I Walk the Line, were born in New Orleans)
  • In the past forty years, no 5′ 4″ actor from California nominated for Best Actress has failed to win, which means that¬†Jessica Chastain¬†must win (Liza Minnelli, born in Los Angeles, won for Cabaret in 1973. She had previously been nominated in 1970 for The Sterile Cuckoo, but that was more than forty years ago.¬†Jeanne Crain¬†was nominated for Pinky, which was released in 1949)

Data verified with IMDb.com.

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

The Hunger Games sued by descendants of Roman consul

April 1, 2012

The Hunger Games sued by descendants of Roman consul

Descendants of the ruling consul of ancient Rome who first offered state-sponsored “barbarian” games in 105 BCE have filed suit against Suzanne Collins, author of the popular Hunger Games books, and Lionsgate, the studio behind the successful movie adaptation.

The suit alleges that the work, which features a televised fight to the death by “tributes” from outer Districts, infringes on their intellectual property.

The group, Vere Stulte, seeks an injunction against the movie opening on May 1st in Italy and unspecified damages.

“Panem is an obvious reference to¬†¬†panem et circenses,¬†the phrase that Juvenal used to describe the games designed by our ancestors,” said the group’s attorney, citing the name of the capitol city in both the movie and the books.

The strategy has been successful before, when this group filed a similar claim against Roger Corman’s Death Race 2000 when that film opened in Italy (where the group claims a copyright in perpetuity under grant of the Roman emperor) in 1975.

Lionsgate and Collins declined to comment for this article. Director and co-screenwriter Gary Ross said…

April Fool!

ūüėČ

Just kidding…happy April Fools’ Day!

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

Aaron Eckhart out, Megan Fox in for Manimal movie

April 1, 2011

Aaron Eckhart out, Megan Fox in for Manimal movie

Aaron Eckhart, who was reportedly close to signng¬†to the Simon MacCorkindale role in Benicio¬†Del Toro’s¬†big-screen remake of the 1980s TV series Manimal¬†has apparently chosen to play the role of Tatoo in the re-imagined Fantasy Island for Starz instead.

That’s opened the way for Megan Fox, who had been circling the part of Rhoda the Robot in the now defunct My Living Doll big-screener.¬†

“Megan was always my first choice,” Del Toro¬†told the SpeculationMan blog.¬† “While we’ve spoken with some really cool people, when I think of people turning into animals, I think of Megan Fox.”

Kelly Cuoco¬†is already signed to play Detective Brooke McKenzie, who is in on the crime fighter’s secret.¬† The role of Ty Earl remains uncast, although Ken Jeong, Abe Vigoda, and Philip Seymour Hoffman are said to be in talks for the role.

Original TV castmember Melody Anderson is expected to cameo, with Rob Schneider playing a villain who can also transform into animals.

Del Toro is writing the screenplay with Bruce Vilanch, and expects to begin lensing once his At the Mountains of Madness adaptation wraps.

And oh yeah…April Fool!¬† ūüôā

Had you wondering for a minute there, didn’t I?¬† ūüėČ

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

How to stay off the 24-hour news channels

July 1, 2010

How to stay off the 24-hour news channels

Advice to politicians on how to avoid having an embarrassing clip of you showed over and over on the 24-hour news channels (and Jon Stewart and Colbert and YouTube and…)

1. Do not mention historical figures at any time for any reason.  Do not mention former Presidents or dictators or heroes or cartoon characters.

2. Don’t threaten to shoot, hang, or otherwise do bodily harm to any other public figure.¬†

3. It is THE Internet, but it’s just Twitter (and just Facebook)

4. Do not make any references to pop culture phenomena.¬† As much as you’d like to make a Twilight joke, let it go

5. Do not call anybody by a nickname in public…especially if it is someone you don’t know and you are referring to something that the person can’t change about herself of himself

6. Assume the microphone is always on.  For that matter, assume that everything you do is being recorded on a Flip camera and will be broadcast on YouTube before you get to the parking lot.

7. Do not use similes.¬† If you don’t know what a simile is, find out.¬† Do not compare people to animals.¬† Do not compare big problems to little things.

8. If you are going to be on camera talking about something, don’t contradict what you’ve said before.¬† You don’t have to remember it: have one of your staff Google it for you.

9. Do not play sports on camera.¬† No matter how good you think you are, it will always look like the other people are letting you win.¬† If you don’t know how to surf/curl/synchronized swim, don’t try it out for the first time with the cameras rolling.

10. Do not talk about food.¬† Do not go to a restaurant.¬† Do not eat on camera: it doesn’t look good, and we would prefer to think of you as an ideal.

Oh, and if you do want to get on the news channels in a good¬†way?¬† Try accomplishing something…I know it’s hard, and they’ll only give you a few seconds for it, but hey, it beats being part of the yearly recap on JibJab.

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


%d bloggers like this: