With the whole gang back, GeekintheCity Radio immediately dives into the crazy with talk of Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet, defending the Young Guns II soundtrack, and defacing a comic by listener request… All in the first segment. Then, Dan recaps the horror and awesome of Seadog Nights. While Scott talks about how you can save $10 off Gilbert Gottfried tickets next Saturday, August 14, at the Aladdin Theater. (Okay, we’ll tell you also – Enter “GeekintheCity” at checkout and save 10 bucks, thanks to our friends at Cheezy Flicks). Then, Pulling From Aaron’s Box enters the realm of vampires with Baltimore – The Plague Ship. Next, a review of Midnight Syndicate’s The Dead Matter. All that, and the Gover’Ner discusses Prop 8 in California. No, really. Only on GeekintheCity Radio.
While some sites continue to crank out the “Best of the Aughts”, your friendly neighborhood Geek believes in looking forward. With that in mind, let us step into the TARDIS and discover what the next ten years brings the world of pop culture.
2010 – Okay, so this jump wasn’t all that impressive. Still, if the Flash can hop two seconds into the future to avoid some Black Lanterns, we can jump a couple of months into the new year. In April of 2010, this Aaron Duran guy along with his artistically gifted friend James Sinclair debut La Brujeria at the Stumptown Comics Fest. Aaron in no way uses his status within the Fest to influence the votes for the Stumptown Comics Awards. Ahem. After yet another drunken rant about why Dan Didio is a fool, James drags Aaron off the stage before he makes good on his “kiss my brown”… Oh my, lets get back into the Police Box, shall we?
2011 – Oh, I’ve always wanted to go to a Mac World. Look at all these hip kids and their pre-tattered Cardigans. A hush falls over the crowd. This could only mean on thing. The lights dim. On stage, a single beam of light focuses on the edge of the stage. Then, an explosion of nerd lust as high lord commander Steve Jobs walks onto the stage. Wait, from behind the curtain begins to lift. To the other side of the stage walks out another dude. Damn, he’s really freakin’ tall. No seriously, homeboy looks like a giant. Why its Portland’s own Mike Richardson of Dark Horse Comics. Why is he here? It is hard to hear over the wash of geek screams. Something about partnership, the Apple Tablet, and changing the face of comics.* AH! A sea of Justin Longs starts battering into us. Blast, come on, we gotta’ get out of here lest we come down with a case of the Snootus Macus!
2012 – Nothing. Not a damn thing happens in 2012. Oh, except we welcome our alien overlords.
2013 – All Star Batman and Robin #11 hits comic book shops. Wait, really? Lets take a look… Goddamn Batman, Joker paints Swastikas on everything standing still, Gordon has a beer and cheats on his wife, Batgirl makes Robin the “Man Wonder” (but leaves her mask on, ’cause it’s hotter that way), and Jim Lee finally has enough and punches Frank in the face. Rob Liefeld offers his talent to issue 12. Frank Miller asks him if he’s retarded. Hm, not sure how I feel about that. Like watching a flame war on an AICN talk-back thread. Lets move on…
2014 – “Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away”… What?! Where am I? This isn’t a theater, I’m sitting in my own TV room. Not a single DVD in sight (except for those bitchin’ Evil Dead book DVDs). Wait, this isn’t a movie. “Star Wars – Rebellion”, that the poodoo is this? Ah, it would seem Lucas finally made good on his promise of the Star Wars television series. Huh, it isn’t that bad. In fact, I kinda’ dig this whole Star Wars on the TV thing. Wait, is that a CGI C-3PO? Come on! Han shot first! Han shot first! Wait, must calm myself. I’m pushing 40, why am I still getting all riled up over Star Wars…oh, I can just hit “buy” on my remote and new action figures ship right to my home. Damn, I gotta’ go. Future is wicked expensive.
2015 – Ugh, we still have the Academy Awards in the future? Fine, we’ll go see what kind predictable garbage keeps winning that little golden sex toy. What? A Pixar flick won for Best Motion Picture?! Not Best Animated Feature? The Academy finally accepts that you don’t need flesh and blood actors to create a real movie. Oh glory on high, finally they wake up. Now if only I could take this TARDIS back in time and force them to nominate The Iron Giant. (Which I heard played to a sold our crowd on Friday, January 8, 2010 at the Bagdad Theater as part of the Cort and Fatboy Midnight Movie. I guess people over 21 listened and showed up early, say around 9pm. Wow, that was such a fun night. Especially the part when the hot chicks started to…well, I guess you had to be there). Ahem.
2016 – Google Auto opens all over the world. Running on puppy laughs and the dreams of children, the Google Car is heralded as the world’s savior. Pay no attention to the biometric seats that log and file all your information via the “Bum Tag”. Oh well, small price to pay for a clean planet. At least until the zombies come and eat everyone. Hm, I think the TARDIS took me to some alternate Earth. This Earth is actually kinda’ creepy. No, I will not be well. Ah! Taco Bells everywhere. Run!
2017 – A banner year for long delayed movie projects. Guillermo Del Toro finally starts shooting At the Mountains of Madness, sadly, drops dead of a heart attack on the third day of shooting. Somewhere, a certain Geek in Portland, OR is heard screaming “You’re killing me Smalls!” Todd McFarlane holds a press conference revealing pre-production images of Spawn 2, only Wizard magazine bothers showing up. Spinal Tap 2 – The 11D Experience hits the theaters. It is glorious! Making good on his promise to Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith releases Clerks 3. Shooting scenes with his daughter, for some reason his signature dick and fart jokes feel really awkward. Oh well, snooch to tha’ nooch suckas! Still doesn’t open at #1, loses by $20 to Paul Blart 5 – Moon Cop.
2018 – Wooo! Flying cars! Whoa. Hey. Ow! Damn, flying cars are incredibly stupid idea. Wait, except for the Delorean, that is all kinds of win. Speaking of “all kinds of win”, it would appear that everyone speaks in some strange Blade Runner style dialect. Did it finally happen? The dreaded future only imagined by Pat Buchanan and my redneck neighbor come to pass? Mi Familia runs the country? Oh, wait. Nope. Everyone just speaks in Internet meme. Meh.
2019 – Brian Michael Bendis finally wraps up the story he started in Avengers Disassembled. What do you know, it was Jarvis the whole time. Okay BMB, you got me. Before leaving, we sit with some friends and toast the “Teen Decade”. I don’t care what you say, I’ll take an Uncanny Valley Dick Clark any ‘ol day over the “flesh and blood” Ryan Seacrest. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4… Wait, is that a Vogon Construction Fleet? Damn, it’s a Thursday, isn’t it?
Never could get the hang of Thursdays.
*GitC Legal would like to point out that Aaron’s rambling has no foundation in truth and/or facts. Indeed, like everything else in his creative life, he’s pulling this from his substantial arse. On a personal note, GitC Legal would really like it if he stopped writing these kinds of “articles” all together. Ugh.
So, as I secretly predicted would happen, technical issues (named Jack and/or Daniel) prevented the live New Years Eve episode of GeekintheCity Radio. However, your friendly neighborhood Geek never wishes the best audience ever to go without. As such, myself and a team of crack Dungeon Masters have scoured the emails and found the most requested Fan Film Commentaries of the last year. With that in mind, I give you damn near 8 hours of drunken commentary goodness. (Plus that bitchin’ image of Three Dallys, keep your women away, merely one Scott Dally can impregnate a lady at 100 paces. Three? Whew).
Jaws – Download HERE
The Phantom Menace – Download HERE
The Temple of Doom – Download HERE
The Devil’s Advocate – Download HERE
To say that Avatar is director James Cameron’s most heavily anticipated film is a bit of a misnomer. True, the $300 million dollar pet-project has been nearly 12 years in the making. Yes, it has been heralded by many as the “film that will reinvent modern cinema,” but much of this is old hat to Cameron. The “King of the World” is no stranger to great expectations and even greater success. With a pedigree that sports aliens, terminators and sinking ships, Cameron’s work has certainly been lauded as groundbreaking in the past. So, with the unveiling of what appears to be his magnum opus, does the King still sit strong on his mountain?
Yes indeed. And I approve of this.
Avatar is a beautifully sprawling epic film whose seamless integration of CGI with the real-world outshines any missteps that its familiar story might make. It is a testament to Cameron’s patience (a main reason for the 12 year wait was to allow current technology to “catch up” to his vision) and most certainly a spot-on construct of his imagination. Everything onscreen, from the vivid technicolor inhabitants of the planet Pandora to the cold and brutal confines of the human base, is almost indescribably gorgeous. Despite this, the story that Cameron has set out to tell is certainly bereft of originality. But with visuals like these, maybe that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The film’s plot, such as it is, involves a group of “aliens” (that would be us dirty humans) who have invaded and plan to strip-mine valuable resources from the lush planet of Pandora. The Na’vi, Pandora’s dominant indigenous species, don’t take kindly to this as their existence depends on both a spiritual and physical link to the planet’s ecosystem. Enter Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paraplegic ex-Marine who has volunteered to serve as a mitigation of sorts between the humans and the Na’vi. He does this through the use of an avatar, a genetically engineered Na’vi who receives a daily download of Sully’s consciousness. Sully’s job is simple: integrate himself into the Na’vi society and convince the race of 8′ tall cat-people that walking away from their homeland is a better choice than fighting the impending onslaught of mankind’s largest and most destructive arsenal. This of course doesn’t go over as well as expected and Sully finds himself the turncoat, ultimately defending the Na’vi, their way of life and his new found mobility.
So yes, the themes present in Avatar (along with some of it’s characters) aren’t exactly new. In fact, you can likely subtitle this film as Lt. John J. Dunbar and Clan Wallace Fight the Colonial Marines to Save Ferngully. The film also stars a foul-mouthed, cigarette-smoking Sigourney Weaver whose performance as Dr. Grace Augustine channels both Ellen Ripley and even a bit of Cameron himself. Stephen Lang finally gets his shot at Aliens redemption (he tried out for a role in the film) and literally tears apart the scenery as the film’s principal villain, Col. Miles Quaritch. Michelle Rodriguez does her best Vasquez impersonation as Trudy Chacon, a pilot whose shifting alliances makes for one of the movie’s most righteous fist-pumping moments. These characters don’t do much to distance Avatar from Cameron’s previous efforts, but after the first 30 minutes, you are so completely immersed in the visuals that you can forget (or rather give into) the fact that you’ve seen this movie before.
One of the main questions for most will be whether to see Avatar in 3D. The answer is most certainly yes. This film incorporates by far the best utilization of 3D technology that has ever been shown onscreen. Even better, Cameron presents the technology (again, one of his pet projects) as something that aids in bringing Pandora to life, instead of limiting its use to cheap “gotcha” effects. As the movie makes it’s shift from the human world to that of the Na’vi, the blending of CGI with real actors becomes more seamless. At the crescendo of it all, the movie delivers a nearly 20-minute battle sequence that simply cannot be comprehended without the aide of 3D. Simply put, Pandora was meant to be seen with this technology and on the largest possible screen. It is only then that you can truly see every plant, creature and landscape as it was undoubtedly conceived in Cameron’s mind’s eye.
You can’t help but to applaud Cameron’s efforts with Avatar. Also serving as the film’s writer, he has created more than just a visual world with Pandora. Everything from the language of the Na’vi to the technology in which the story is presented to the audience has seen his input. It is indeed a glorious thing when a creator’s passion and determination translate into something that can be experienced by all in the way that it was originally intended. Avatar is very much a visual experience and even though the story is lacking in depth, the strides that Cameron takes in creating a true three-dimensional film makes it a creation worthy of my praise. This movie may not ring everyone’s bell, but the more you give yourself over to the world of Pandora, despite it’s cliched themes, the more you will find yourself smiling at the end.
Perhaps now, more than ever, it is indeed good to be the King.
In this special live issue of GeekintheCity Radio, Scott continues with his Top-50 films of the decade. Then, Aaron begins the daunting task of creating the Top-10 Greatest Star Trek Episode of All Time! (Not just Original Series… All of them. As Gary Oldman says, EVERYONE)! Also, Aaron and Scott taunt the folks at TFAW.com for not bringing their A Game to Geek Trivia Night and the gauntlet is thrown. But first, Scott crushes yet another of Aaron’s dreams. Only on GeekintheCity Radio
This week’s musical breaks are::
The 12-Days of the Christmas, Eh – Bob and Doug Mckenzie
Run Rudolph Run – Dave Grohl, Billy F. Gibbon, & Lemmy