John Carter (of Mars…..sorta)

John Carter Logo/Poster

Written by: Christopher Lee

I finally got out to see “John Carter” this week and yes, I’ll say it, this movie is good.

No, it’s not going to blow you away. No, it’s not anything you haven’t seen before. Yes, it’s a lot like things you’ve seen before.

Why?

Because darned near movie or TV show in the Sci-Fi genre that you’ve seen in at LEAST 50+ years has either been inspired by or has ripped off the tales of “Barsoom” by Edgar Rice Burroughs. 

Given that alone, give the film, the story, the respect it’s due. Gene Rodenberry did. Publicly. When he spoke of his inspirations for “Star Trek”. Many others have as well.

Could I sit here and simply review the movie? Sure. But I’m not going to do that per se. 

The difficult thing with this movie is despite just saying “OMG it’s so good! You need to go see it!”, is telling people *why* they should give it a go. There’s few ways to describe it that don’t sound like “Avatar” or a sort of reversed “Superman” or much everything else. I honestly find myself hard pressed to do so, and therein lies, likely, it’s failure. 

How does one make an audience excited for a film that, despite it’s pedigree, is based on a 100 year old story that has somewhat faded into relative obscurity in the eyes of all but the more hardcore geeks?

I suppose simple word of mouth is the best bet. Perhaps, blatantly advertising and chest-beating that this is the story that inspired the genre almost entirely as we know it.  I also suppose that releasing it a mere week before a darned near guaranteed blockbuster (“Hunger Games”) wasn’t the best idea either.

At this point, the best thing to do is judge for yourself. Don’t dismiss it based solely on the critics (actually, do yourself a favor and stop listening to critics all together….except me, of course, but I’m not a professional…yet, and when I do become a pro, feel free to stop listening to me and support another up-and-comer!). Go to a matinee (incidentally, this is a GREAT Sunday Morning film), leave your expectations at the concession stand, and check it out. The least I can guarantee you is an enjoyable, pulpy, classic sci-fi adventure. Personally, I can never have enough of them.

If simple reasoning doesn’t work, just lookit this guy, he’s in the film. His name is Woola. He’s kind of like a giant, sweet, super fast, super loyal bulldog..ish….thing….BUT HE’S SO CUTE AND AWESOME YOU MUST LOVE HIM!! (fyi, this is the concept art for Woola. The finished character is pretty much 90% the same as this with VERY slight alterations that make him more “book-authentic”)

WOOLA!!!

Oh Doctor, my Doctor.

Written by: Christopher Lee

I started watching “Doctor Who” in the early 80’s when it was shown on both PBS and NJN (the local “New Jersey Network”) UHF channel (not everyone had cable back then). Although they did mix in a few of the other Doctors here and there, they mostly aired the Tom Baker/4th Doctor episodes. I was entranced. The show just had this, “something”. It was frightening and exciting and strange and wonderful, just the thing for a young geek growing up in the days when Dungeons & Dragons still held sway on the fears of parents and metal heads were all stereotyped as Satan worshipers. 

                                                                             

Ahhh…those were the days.

The point I’m making here is, just like anything you grow up with. You’re sort of indoctrinated to a preference. My preference here is for my favorite Doctor, Tom Baker.

 

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE the new series. It’s great and I’m very glad it’s finally getting the global popularity it deserves. What I am saying is, a lot of the “new Who” fans either haven’t watched or have trouble getting into the older series. This is completely understandable. They’ve grown into a preference for a different sort of “Who”. However, for those that have tried, many if not most of them will tell you that they’ve enjoyed the 4th Doctor best. That says a lot. 

I got to briefly meet Tom Baker at NYCC a few years ago. I don’t often get starstruck, but, let me say, I heard his voice before I saw his face. I just lit up, I walked over, waited til he was done speaking to someone else, he turned to me and I simply said, “Mr. Baker, thank you.” and shook his hand. I think he knew what I meant, either from hearing it from thousands of others, or just by looking in my eyes, but he put a his hand on my shoulder and said, “Nonsense. Thank YOU. It is my pleasure.” I walked away from that encounter feeling like a schoolkid who just asked his crush out on a date and she said, “Yes”. Okay, that was corny, but I think you understand.

Now to the point. While we’re all waiting to see who will make appearances in the very soon upcoming 50th Anniversary Doctor Who special, and for that matter, what it will be, someone on Youtube has tracked down something interesting. It seems Tom Baker has since donned the persona of our favorite Time Lord once more for a series of New Zealand investment commercials:

So, I want to say, “Oh man, that’s so cheezy”. However, even though it IS, I just can’t find myself not enjoying these spots! He still has it and I still love it. He is and always shall be, my Doctor.

-Chris

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Remember that Smiths game for NES?

Written by: Christopher Lee

Neither do I. Okay, it was a fever dream. That’s what I tell everyone at least. 

Or was it? This evidence may convince you otherwise:

Super Morrissey Bros. by lazyitis

Again, another great bit of music inspired by video games and fantastic hair. 

I’m honestly trying to hold back quite a bit from gushing too much being a big fan of both the Smiths and midi tracks. So instead, I’ll just leave this post as is and fall back into my imagination trying as hard as I can to insert a memory of playing a game in my youth on the NES where Mozz rides his bike around collecting bouquets of flowers, lamé shirts, and mousse for bonus points while he makes it to his gigs so he can raise money to pay the doctors at the hospital because his girlfriend’s in a coma, oh, and trying not to hit any rocks while riding because I don’t want to see him cry. (you just know it’d just be a side scroller).

-Chris

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Shameless self-promotion.

Written by: Christopher Lee

If you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate it if you’d spread the word about this blog.

Hopefully you like what I’ve posted thus far. I’m still open to submissions too!

I can’t realize my dream of seeing this successful without an audience though, so I need you!! Reblog posts that you like! Tell your friends about it! 

The blog is hosted on Tumblr, it’s just a button click away! 

I can beg…I’ll give you a cookie…

If I have at least 100 followers by the end of March, I’m going to have a little contest/giveaway of some sort. I have a bunch of cool stuff gathered up for the Geek Flea Market and I think I can part with a piece or two as thanks.

Perhaps some lucky follower will get one of my infamous “Gift boxes”….mwahh-ha-ha-haaaaa

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