Archive for the A Few Thoughts Category

The Unstoppable George Lucas

Posted in A Few Thoughts, Nerdism with tags , , , , , , , , on 30/08/2011 by Kevin Entrekin

Some films have since their beginning had a following. And no film has brought in fanboys and fangirls more than George Lucas’s beloved trilogy, Star Wars. Like many kids since its release, I watched wide-eyed as the rebels took down the Death Star in A new Hope. I was stunned to hear Darth Vader confidently say “No, I am your father” to Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back. And my first crush came in the form of Carrie Fisher in a gold bikini in Return of the Jedi (just as a side note, she still is to this day a big crush for me).

In fact when the trilogy was released on VHS in 1995, I was told if I could behave myself in class for an entire week, my parents would in turn purchase the glorious box set for me. After a week of dedicated and exhausting good behavior, the prize was mine and I would go on to watch each film multiple times.

But as I have grown older, instead of exclusively loving the films, I have also had a growing worrying feeling. Why? Because of George Lucas, who has taken it upon himself to try to dismantle his masterpiece. He has made revisions to these films many times now and nearly all of them have not been for the better.

The newer versions of the films are nothing more than random and unnecessary things thrown into it. They don’t add anything to the story and only serve to disrupt the flow of the film. I, like many others, squirm instead of enjoy these new additions when watching the films. And I’m not even going to start on the prequels. That would be another article entirely.

Now on the eve of Star Wars being released in glorious Blu-Ray, I should be celebrating its release. Instead I am more angry than anything. Because instead of catering to the wants of his audience by offering both the original and altered versions of the films, Lucas’s ego is only dishing out the altered versions. The reason as to why? He says that it would cost too much money to restore the original versions.

But wait Georgie boy, aren’t you converting all six films to 3-D in order to re-re-release them in theaters? I only bring this up because, although I do not have the figures in front of me, I’m guessing that converting six films to post-production 3-D is more expensive than cleaning up the original films to Blu-ray quality. Plus, looking at the statistics for this summers 3-D films, I’m thinking that more people would appreciate it if you would drop the 3-D project all together. And you would be in the good graces once again with the group of people who once considered you a Nerd god. But I’m guessing George is just going to ignore this piece of advice. Why would he listen to the people who have made him who he is today?

So on September 16 when other people will be dropping large amounts of cash the beloved films, I wont be. I’ll be saving that money for when Lucas finally decides to clean up the originals. Until that time, it’s just me and my VHS tapes.

Comments? Opinions? Leave them below.

Advertisements

The Netflix Conundrum

Posted in A Few Thoughts, Life with tags on 22/08/2011 by Kevin Entrekin

I like Netflix. Ever since I started using the film rental service, I have been extremely happy with the service. Decent delivery time at a dead cheap service? I’m all for it. Our relationship has been like a cheesy high school romance that has been annoying you with Facebook statuses about how amazing things are. But much like that paper-thin relationship, it was inevitably going to end publicly and in ugly fashion. Turns out that my loving rental service only wants our union to continue if she can get more of my money but contribute nothing to the relationship.

What was the catalyst for the strained relationship? A month or so ago I, like millions of others, received an email from Netflix. The email, for those who did not receive it, stated that they would be separating their streaming service and DVD mailing service. Which means in order for me to continue receiving both services, I would be forced to pay $17.98, nearly 120% more than what I was originally paying. For me, this would not be a problem except for one thing: I make minimum wage wading through the trenches of a theater.

Like many people, I was furious when I learned this. I also considered cancelling my service to the trollop- I mean company. But then I came to my senses. I realized that it is the only reliable source of film rental available. Since traditional stores such as Blockbuster and Movie Gallery closed up shop months ago in my area, the only other service available would be Redbox.

But Redbox is unreliable. They never seem to have new releases until a few weeks after they come out and their selection of films is limited. So it looks like I am sticking with Netflix, but at a compromise: streaming only or DVD by mail only. Since this new plan goes into effect September 1st, I’ve had plenty of time to decide what service I want, but it has proven more difficult than I expected.

On the one hand, streaming is instant, unlike the mailed DVD’s which typically take three days to receive a new one. With streaming, all I have to do is power up my xbox, click on what film I want to watch, and away I go. And most new release foreign films are available on the day they come out. But most large new releases are not and the streaming selection is significantly smaller than the DVD’s by mail. This is why I believe I will stick with the old snail mail version.

In truth, this is not the superior decision. That title belongs to the streaming + DVD service. But I just don’t have the cash for that service. Which is a shame because it affects how I run this site in a way. For example, tomorrow I will probably be seeing the remake of ‘Fright Night’. Since I have never seen the original film, I would normally see if it was available to watch on streaming. If not, I would have it shipped weeks before the release. That way, I would have something to compare the new film to. Unfortunately, Netflix’s greedy ways have changed that. And for other people as well.

A Few Thoughts On… The 2011 Oscars.

Posted in A Few Thoughts, Oscars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 28/02/2011 by Kevin Entrekin

Hollywood’s biggest night of the year turned out to be a mediocre and disappointing one at best. This year I predicted in 7 of the major categories who I think would win and ended up with a record of 4-7. A big difference from last year when I went 6-6 (Next year I plan on making predictions in all 24 categories). Did I just make poor choices? No, I just believe the statues went to the wrong people.

The first mistake of the night was in the Supporting Actress category. I was confused as Melissa Leo’s name was called out instead of more deserving nominees such as Hailee Steinfeld or Helena Bonham Carter. Her role in the fighter was impressive, just not award impressive. And not to mention the fact that she took out ads promoting herself in the category.

Then there was the Directing winner. I believe Tom Hooper to be a talented director but best director? No. I still find The king’s Speech to be the better film, David Fincher was the far better director for The Social Network. And, even though I have said it before, it bares repeating: Christopher Nolan should have woke up next to the statue this morning. I thought it would have been great if he had a Zoolander moment last night and went up to receive the award.

For me the most disappointing category of the night was Best Documentary Feature. I think it’s a shame that Banksy didn’t win with Exit Through the Gift Shop just because he would only accept the award if his identify remained secret. But there were  better choices than inside Job. Josh Fox’s Gasland for example, or even Restrepo.

As for the night itself, there was nothing special about it. James Franco seems tense and uncomfortable as host while Anne Hatheway was exciting and energetic. But there were some memorable moments. Leo’s F-bomb. Franco in a dress. Kirk Douglas hamming it up. Downey Jr. and Law bantering. All great stuff but it still equalled out to a mediocre night on the pink- I mean red carpet. 

Just a suggestion: Kirk Douglas/ Robert Downey Jr. as host next year.

A Few Thoughts and A Farewell to LOST

Posted in A Few Thoughts, Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 05/09/2010 by Kevin Entrekin

In my life I have been wrong only a few times (Family and friends, please stop arguing with your computer screen right now-people are watching). One of those few times was about J.J. Abrams television series LOST. Even though friends told me how good it was I did not believe them. Mainly I did not believe because they also said how awesome a show Heroes was and I was more than disappointed by that show. My feeling about Lost started to change when iTunes put up a free download of the pilot episode. After watching it I went out and bought the first season on DVD and have not stopped watching them until now. Honestly, I never thought that a television series would ever affect my life but Lost has.

Wednesday night I watched the final episode of the series, ‘The End’. Even though most people were not satisfied with how the series ended, I was. I believe that it was a great way to bring the series to a close. I can understand that people are upset that not all the questions were answered. But did they all really need to be? If all the mysteries of the island were presented, would you still find it interesting?

The main thesis of the series from episode one to the very end has always been in my opinion summed up in one simple word: faith. I know some are surprised at this but that was my interpretation. The good thing about a series such as Lost is that it allows fans to interpret the show the way they want to. Although there are many examples of faith in this series, I believe that my best argument comes from season two in the episode ‘Orientation’. Jack and John are arguing about whether or not to push the “EXECUTE” button. Eventually Jack decides to push the button, going on no physical proof that something will happen if he does not push the button. As stated before, this is just the main theme that I have noticed throughout the series.

One of the things that really made this journey through Lost so special for me was the people I met along the way. I met many people on Twitter who are amazing Lost fans who had already experienced what I had. They really encouraged me throughout the seasons and also made for multiple great conversations. I believe it would be irresponsible on my part not to list all these fine people and say from the bottom of my heart to the top…thank you. It really is a gift to get to know you all and now I am proud to say I am a fellow Lostie. Thank you @JAVAJ9, @CaliPH, @MonsterAtePilot, @DharmaScientist, @IslandConNews, @FlyAjiraAirways, @Nancymkq, @andalone, @Loster21, @jackiepanked, @LizPrietti, @aohora, @corrwill, @MikeFisky, and @brandilynnee.

So, we are left with the end. I did not think that I would get all my thoughts and ideas presented here, and I did not. But now that I have seen the entire series, I know I will revisit it soon. Like the characters, the island has an attraction that brings us back together. As I said, I never thought a television series would make an impact upon my life but Lost did. It has brought me a new outlook on life and a new set of friends. Most importantly, I know that if I go through life with faith, I can do anything I want to. Namaste.

A Few Thoughts on: Conan and NBC

Posted in A Few Thoughts on 22/01/2010 by Kevin Entrekin

This is a new series that I wanted to tryout where I give a few thoughts and ideas on matters that have caught the interest of everyone and the media. Originally, my first one was going to be on the Mark McGwire steroid scandal but I decided that this subject was more important and more present.  Tonight, Conan O’ Brien will say goodbye as the host of The Tonight Show and will also say goodbye to his home of 17 years, NBC.  Following the coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics, Jay Leno will return as host of the long running late night show.  While Leno has proven that he is the king of late night, I don’t believe that it is right for him to retake what isn’t his after only seven months.

This whole controversy began with poor ratings on Jay Leno’s prime time show, The Jay Leno Show.  In order to solve this problem, the brilliant minds at NBC thought that they should give Leno The Tonight Show’s long-standing time slot. This would bump Mr. O’ Brien and The Tonight Show back to 12:05/11:05, essentially leaving new Late Night host Jimmy Fallon out in the cold.  Being the gentlemen he is, Conan publicly stated that he would not tarnish the name of the show by moving and that he would not do that to Mr. Fallon.

I am very disappointed in Mr. Leno. I always thought he was a down to earth guy (yes even though he owns an army of cars) and someone who wouldn’t be caught up in all this greed. Let me unpack what I mean. Leno passed the torch to Conan. He didn’t lend the torch to him for seven months while he tried another adventure.  No, he passed up his place and that should be final.  But over the past week or so, he has proven that he can take it back if he whines to the boss enough.

Another thing that bothers me about this whole ordeal could be stated in just three letters:  NBC.  NBC has recently had a problem with cancelling show just because the rating are not spectacular the first few episodes.  It started with the amazing show Southland and the most recent victim has been The Jay Leno Show.  I am amazed that such good shows as Parks & Recreation and Community are still on the air since they have only recently started to find a following.  What I’m trying to say is neither Leno nor Conan was truly given a shot at their new project.  I fear for the future of this already failing network and hope that the executives start to pull their act together.

So what exactly are we left with?  We’re left with a man reluctantly leaving a network he has called home for over 17 years and is now left with an uncertain future.  We’re left with a greedy yet funny old man who doesn’t know when his time has ended. And we’re left with a network who has lost touch on how to run a business.  But, we are left with one ray of sunshine during these late night wars:  One last show for a truly amazing man to shine.

What are your thoughts on this matter? Leave your comments below and as Patrick Swayze said in Dirty Dancing, “No one puts Coco in the corner”