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ADVENTURES

Sunday, June 27, 1999

YOU MIGHT ENJOY BEING A GEEK

Well, you thought I could write an entire Bitch Page with no mention of the new Star Wars film? Sorry to let you down - well, not entirely, this isn't exactly about The Phantom Menace but it is indirectly related to it...

Not too long ago, I was sitting in my lame-ass $10.50 an hour deskjob bragging to a co-worker about being in a Toys R Us parking lot at 1:15 in the morning the night the Phantom Menace toys were first put on shelves, running around, waving a lightsaber above my head yelling "TONIGHT WE WILL HAVE OUR REVENGE! I AM DARTH MAUL!!"

My co-worker winced and suggested that this was not something to brag about. Another co-worker suggested I get a life. Then I stopped and looked at them.

These, typically normal looking, conservative people who spend their lives calm, cool, and collected tell me I should get a life. For a moment I wondered how I should take the advice.

Then a voice inside my head said to me: "I AM DARTH MAUL AND I ROCK!" That's when I realized that I'd much rather be a 28 year-old kid with his toys and the guts to be silly and fun and goofy than a quiet, conservative suit-and-tie-type who's only idea of celebrating is tossing back a brew and whatever. I don't mean to say that there is anything wrong with their kind of lifestyle. I know for a fact one of them is more like me than he'd care to admit, but I can't help but feel a bit superior (even though I have a feeling they might be reading this right now!).

I don't need what most people seem to need in life. I'm a geek - I have my imagination - we all have our imagination. And my co-workers do too, they've just forgotten how to use it. I think if everyone had a Darth Maul double-bladed lightsaber (or whatever your silly equivalent would be) and at least once a day ran around waving it over their head our planet might be a slightly happier place.

[http://www.guestbook.de/yasg.cgi?X=75379#top|Are you normal?]

NEW SHOWS, THEY SUCK!

Well, it's that time of the year again. Below are a list of shows that will be appearing on TV this fall. I'll tell you if they will succeed or fail and if they will be good or bad. Yes, I will do all this without having seen any of these actual shows MONTHS before they begin airing. I'm not trying to be cool - it's just that they are obviously that bad - you be the judge.

"Third Watch" (NBC) - This show focuses on paramedics in New York City. You know, where they wrote that song "911 is a Joke". But seriously, this show sounds more like a scifi show and that will harm it. Plus, there's no hook. BOMB.

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC) - This is a spin off of "Law & Order" centering on sex crimes. This show will do well. Maybe even better than the original.

"The Michael O'Malley Show" (NBC) - This is another one of those shows that stars a stand-up comedian. It's about a guy who decides, at 30 years of age, to grow-up. Doesn't sound like a comedy to me - more like a funeral. This'll bomb faster than "Costello" did last season.

"West Wing" (NBC) - Rob Lowe plays Michael J. Fox's character from Spin City in this drama about the inner workings of the White House that was obviously ripped from that NBC sitcom about the inner workings of the New York Mayor's office. It may do well, but only because people don't mind unoriginal shows with good looking guys in the lead.

"Stark Raving Mad"(NBC) - This show is about a horror writer and stars "Antonio" from that old NBC sitcom "Wings" (now run perpetually on the USA Network) as the horror writer and "Doogie Howser" as his book editor. I don't know what to make of this show - aside from the fact that the title will scare a lot of people off. However, buried between "Frasier" and "ER" may turn it into a "HIT". Hey - "Jesse" got renewed, didn't it?

"Cold Feet" (NBC) - A show about three beautiful white couples in various states of relationship-involvement. This show sounds boring enough, but couple that with it's timeslot, FRIDAYS AT TEN, and you've got a sure fire H-- I mean BOMB.

"Freaks & Geeks" (NBC) - This is an hour comedy about kids attending high school in 1980. First off, I was still in school in 1980 and there wasn't a damn thing that was entertaining about it. Secondly, just placing the show in 1980 does not create a hook that will get people's attention. (What was the name of that movie that took place on December 31st, 1980? Oh yeah, I can't recall BECAUSE IT SUCKED.) Thirdly, "Ally McBeal" is a total fluke, it's doubtful that hour comedies will work without a laugh track. Fourth, the title alone will confuse the crap out of people. Finally, it's timeslot will damn it - it holds the slot that has killed two other shows. ("Dark Skies" and "Sleepwalkers" previously held the 8pm, Saturday slot. Then again, both of those shows sucked).) I bet this one will BOMB, too.

Welp, those are just the new shows NBC has coming up this fall. Next week, come back to read my predictions for the WB! YEEHAW!

[http://www.guestbook.de/yasg.cgi?X=75379#top|Or do you think they will ALL be great shows?]

SURE IT WASN'T VOTED IN, BUT...

Recently, some guy in our government got a law one step away from to being passed. The problem with this law is that if it had passed, it would have severely limited extremely violent content in movies, TV, art, comics, web sites, music videos, pretty much everything. The government would have been able to stop you from drawing your violent cartoon, describing a violent act in a short story or stop you from seeing an NC-17 movie that got the rating because of violence. Sure, you might say, "So what Pete? The law wasn't passed, so what are ya whining about?"

I'll tell you - this is the second time such a law came this close to being passed and that's the part that bothers me. How long will it be until the guys who write the laws get the wording so it doesn't sound hideously un-constitutional?

Or worse, the next time some loser parents fail to notice their kids gearing up to slaughter a handful of their classmates, will our government actually vote such a law into existence?

Imagine, for a moment, an America where you are not allowed to draw a little sketch where a person is killed, or tell a story where violence is a part of it. What happens then? Where does the censorship stop? When suddenly the bar is lowered for what is considered to be too violent, will you be effected?

Perhaps you aren't into violent media, that's fine. Perhaps you feel that fake violence in the movies or on TV is just not your cup of tea. Fine. But do you think that it's another person's right to tell me that I cannot watch such programming? Should I have to curb my own writing and drawing and freedom of thought, just because some white guys in Washington, DC decide that I can't handle violent ideas?

SHEESH!

These guys don't even know me. Do they know you? Don't you want to continue making your own calls as to what you watch and what you can say and write and draw and think? Watch our government - they are worse than people--they're politicians.

[http://www.guestbook.de/yasg.cgi?X=75379#top|Do you like politicians?]

Sunday, June 20, 1999

HEY, WE ALL HAVE OUR OFF-DAYS

Well, I'd just like to take this quick moment to apologize for how sucky the Big Bitch for this week is. I've had a particularly hectic weekend and just can't think of anything else that bugs me about George Lucas that doesn't give away plot points in The Phantom Menace.

I guess I am just too tired or annoyed that TPM didn't make more money this weekend. It's not that I want George Lucas to make more money, I just want to see Jim Cameron's film, that I like to call Tyranic, to be knocked out of the number one spot on the top Box Office grossing films of all time list. I do think George isn't as ground breaking as everyone else seems to think. I mean - check it out - the best Star Wars movie was one he didn't even write! Also, it was his ideas that made Return of the Jedi a bad film. (I still fantasize about how cool a planet of Wookies would have been!)

I think if Lucas has half a brain, he should write a draft for Episode I and II and then hire Larry Kasdan and his wife to rewrite them. Lucas could pay them enough to keep their mouths shut and he could still take all the credit for writing the films. This way, Kasdan and his wife (who wrote Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark) will know they have helped the most fun scifi franchise back to it's former glory and Lucas will still look cool.

In my opinion there were way too many glaring holes in the plot of TPM and way too many wasted AWESOME opportunities for great characters and events to be introduced. I know it's hard as hell to make a movie of that scale - THAT'S WHY YOU DON'T DO IT ALL YOURSELF, GEORGE!!

Okay, I feel better now...

[http://www.guestbook.de/yasg.cgi?X=75379#top|How do you feel?]

THE END OF TV??

Okay, so this isn't an entirely Star Wars related bitch, but it probably will come up in here somewhere.

Recently, my favorite show on TV just got canceled... again.

[http://mst3k.com|Mystery Science Theater 3000] has never been a big ratings grabber, and after something like six years on Comedy Central, that cable network finally canceled it. Luckily, the SciFi Channel decided that the show was worth saving, so they picked it up and began airing it back in 1997. The low ratings returned and now they have canceled the show. It had gone through many changes and I can admit that it had seen better days writing-wise, but it is FAR from being past its prime. Yet, how can it survive as a show without a network willing to pay for it to be made? Well, I'll use my media bitch as a jumping off point - The Phantom Menace is a two-hour-ten-minute film and yet it is downloadable over the internet. Why couldn't the guys that make MST3K digitize each segment of the show into a Real Media file or an MPEG or something like that and make it downloadable at their web site? Then, they could charge for advertising - I seriously doubt that they would have trouble making enough money to pay for more episodes. Sure, they couldn't get too fancy, but then, they never are. That's part of the charm of the show.

This brings me to the next big point I'm trying to make here. Why haven't any production companies figured this strategy out? Who needs a network any more? Who needs commercials interrupting their shows? Put the ads on the web sites and have the shows be downloadable or streaming right over the web. It'll be better than satellite or mini-dish TV because you won't be at the whim of programming execs burying your show at 11pm on a Sunday night (like SciFi did with MST3K on the east coast). You just point your browser and watch it whenever the hell you feel like it. No more worries about ratings - you just make the show until your site stops getting hits. Sure, you still need to make sure people come to your site, but you'll no longer be at the mercy of the hideously inaccurate Nielsen boxes.

How many shows have we lost to those damn fowl boxes that seem to only be given to idiots who think Baywatch should get an Emmy for every bouncing breast in it's cast. ("The Emmy for best bouncing right breast goes to...") What a grand universe we would live in then! People would actually be able to watch the shows they want to, WHEN they want to and they wouldn't have to worry about some white guy in a suit deciding that YOU watching isn't enough of a good reason to keep making episodes of Murder One.

[http://www.guestbook.de/yasg.cgi?X=75379#top|Do YOU have a Neilsen Box?]

$15,000?!?!

Yes, it's another all-Phantom Menace-related Bitch Page, sorry folks! What am I complaining about now?

Well, since the dawn of the VCR, there has been an underground movement to sell crappy copies of the movies EVERYBODY wants to see. One of the first videos I ever watched back in 1980 was a bootleg copy of Star Wars my step-father had scored through certain unnamed channels. That's really what got me hooked. I remember Saturdays where, right after cartoons were over, I'd drop that puppy in the VCR and watch it over and over. LITERALLY! I would watch it, rewind it, and watch it again and rewind it and watch it AGAIN. After a while, I tried to figure out just how many times I had seen it. I estimated my total viewings to be right around 100 times - and that was in 1980!! Almost 20 years later, I've watched it MANY more times, but the ground-work for my fanaticism was directly linked to that illegal, bootleg tape.

With every major movie since then, one wouldn't find it difficult to find a bootleg copy of it on the streets of any major American city. This trend has continued right up through 1997's Titanic and on to this summer's The Phantom Menace. But a new wrinkle has been added to the bootlegging of major box office successes. It's the internet. The recording industry was recently panicking about mp3s and now the film and television industry is starting to panic about bootlegged mpegs, Real Media files and various other forms of digital media making it's way onto the 'net and into people's homes. Sure, you can still drop $20 on a VHS copy in the city, but why bother when even with a 28.8 modem (and several DAYS online) you can download The Phantom Menace and watch it all on your PC?

Now, mind you, I'm not endorsing bootlegging - personally, I'm a psycho for the movie-going experience. I had a chance to see TPM for free through my dayjob, but the screening was in a theater that didn't allow popcorn, so, I turned down the offer. I guess I'm just NOT a fan of laws that exist to protect one's greed and not one's rights. Sure, George Lucas is entitled to make as much money off of his film as possible, but I hardly think even a few thousand people who are nuts enough to spend ALL that time downloading a CRAPPY copy of TPM would NOT go see the movie again in the theater if they could.

So basically, this $15,000 reward the MPAA is offering people for turning in bootleggers of TPM and other box office successes (The Matrix, The Mummy, Austin Powers 2) only exists to help destroy the fan base that these films need to power their money-making machines in the first place. I often ask myself if I were in George's shoes, regarding this bootlegging thing how would I feel? I can't say for certain, but the last thing I'd like to see happen to a fan of one of my movies is for he or she to be sent to jail or fined into the poor house because he bootlegged one of my movies.

I mean COME ON, George's movie made in excess of $300 million in less than a month of being released, what's the big deal if a few people around the country get to enjoy the movie at home too? Are these movie types THAT greedy? And should the law (that is paid for by US) enable them to stay that way?

[http://www.guestbook.de/yasg.cgi?X=75379#top|What's your take?]

GEORGE IS NOT A GOD (NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!)

If you haven't read my bitchings on The Phantom Menace and things relating to it, please click [http://thepete.com/when-it-comes-right-down-to-it-heres-what-i-thought-of-tpm/|here], [http://thepete.com/yoo-wll-bhh-a-jdeye-i-prmus/|here], [http://thepete.com/dont-complain-about-the-hype/|here] and [http://thepete.com/dont-blame-me/|here] to do so now. Then come back here for a good helping of TRUTHFUL Lucas bashing...

I should start this out by saying that I am a big fan of many things George Lucas has been involved with.

He created a movie series that has pointed me in the direction I am still traveling in to this very day. He revolutionized merchandising of many different types. (Did you know the action figure was actually his idea?) He inspired millions around the world to become storytellers. For all those things I applaud him.

HOWEVER, I am not one of the scifi-geek masses who froth at the mouth when the mere thought of George crosses their minds. I simply view him as one of the luckier men on the planet. None of the films he's been involved with are anywhere near perfect. I think if you take an honest look at his latest work, it's pretty obvious that he really doesn't have much of a clue about storytelling. He does have some GREAT ideas, he's just not that great at exploring them. If his point with TPM was to illustrate the balance of the good versus the bad, then why didn't he make it a bit more obvious? I mean, I'm a pretty intelligent guy and when I saw a reporter on TV ask George what the message of the movie was, I immediately thought: GOOD questions!!

Sure, I've suggested that the characters in TPM are subtle and that is good but even I can admit, Lucas could have made stronger choices about the characters in his film. You don't even need to have seen the movie to know that Lucas really didn't break too much ground in the imagination department. Sure, I find a double bladed lightsaber to be totally kick-ass, but I am hard pressed to find anything that is as imaginative as some of the elements from the middle trilogy.

In Star Wars: A New Hope (it's originally intended, full title) has a giant walking carpet who doesn't speak a lick of English but somehow, we still seem to be able to understand him and even ENJOY having him around. The pod racing was vaguely interesting, but how difficult is it to come up with the idea to remove the horses from the chariot race in Ben-Hur? I don't have a problem with the Pod Racing scene being lifted from Ben-Hur (not to mention the fact that it's also a rip of the speeder bike scene in ROTJ), but what's the big deal in doing that? The speeder bikes in Return of the Jedi were completely new and original. The Cloud City of Bespin wasn't incredibly original either, but it was still more fun than a whole planet that is one big city. Again, how amazing a thought is that?

I dunno what I'm getting at really, I guess I just like to point out to some people that idolizing anyone is never a good idea. ANYONE and EVERYONE is fallible and NO ONE is worth being worshiped like a minor OR a major deity. I may THOROUGHLY enjoy George Lucas' Star Wars movies, but I am under no illusions regarding how flawed the man really is. I think I like the Star Wars films simply because they have this wonderful spark of imagination. There are just hints of things we know and are familiar with. Everything else is extreme and alien - that's where the spark comes in. That's all it is really, a spark. If it were a flame or even an inferno, we'd have a lot more bizarre things going on than simply some power hungry politician trying to rule the galaxy. Which is effectively all the entire Star Wars saga boils down to in the end. It's not even about the Skywalkers. It's just about this Trump-like (or even Bill Gates-like) guy who climbs deceitfully to power and then is destroyed by the offspring of his right-hand-man. Not a bad story really, but when Episode three comes out and we find out that the story is mostly about a bad guy, will the world still view George as a story-telling genius?

[http://www.guestbook.de/yasg.cgi?X=75379#top|Did YOU like "The Phantom Menace"?]

Monday, June 14, 1999

WHEN IT COMES RIGHT DOWN TO IT, HERE'S WHAT I THOUGHT OF TPM

First off, you don't have to worry if you haven't seen the film yet. I promise I won't give away anything or include what we netfanboys like to call "Spoilers".

I loved The Phantom Menace for a lot of reasons. Not because of it's solid script, or it's great acting, or it's great editing or it's stunning cinematography, or even for it's great effects.

Frankly, it didn't have any of those things. By normal standards, the script was muddled, loose and holier than the Pope. By normal standards, the acting was stiff and not at all that dynamic. The editing was inconsistent and choppy. While there were some neat shots, the cinematography was DISGUSTINGLY inconsistent and uninteresting. And the effects quality, while much better than Titanic's did not justify their excessive use in this film.

Put straight, there were things that were computer generated that just plain didn't need to be computer generated. After all that you might think: "Pete, you just described everything you COULD like about a film as being bad, how can you say you loved this movie?"

Well, I'm glad you asked that. The first and main reason I liked this film (even beyond Darth Maul's double-bladed lightsaber) is that it is (IN MY OPINION) very subtle. There are lots of places where characters could have done things that you'd expect them to do but instead did nothing at all.

Liam Neeson said that when you have to play a guy who is super-powerful, don't play super-powerful, play just the opposite. The only catch with that philosophy is that most folks read the opposite of super-powerful to be flat. I think it can be looked at either way, honestly. It was fine with Liam's acting. It seems more subtle to me than non-existent. I think that our society is used to everything be served up for them on a platter instead of having to go get the food yourself. So when Liam enters the scene I'm not thinking: "WOAH! THERE'S LIAM!!!" I'm not thinking anything until he begins speaking and then I think: "Hey! Where'd he come from - damn he's like a ninja!"

Subtlety, I think is the key to understanding most of the aspects of this film people call "weak". However, there are some elements of the film that have no excuses - they are bad, weak, or otherwise poor choices in filmmaking. But I find that all the really fun, neat and wonderful things the film does make up for those undeniable flaws. What are those things?

The production design was cool as hell (except for a bunch of stuff WAAAAAY too similar to the Dinotopia Series) the characters themselves I found interesting (Jar-Jar aside) and the new things they added to the familiar made this film a wonderful addition to the Star Wars Universe. Also, George Lucas does things in this movie that no other filmmaker in Hollywood (or anywhere else) would EVER do. He trusts himself to make the right choice. No other filmmaker does that. Sure, he makes the wrong choice on occasion, but I'll put up with a few bad choices when the good choices make the film a thousand times more interesting to watch than any other film out there.

No, I'm not some loser who thinks George Lucas is a God - I think this last piece proves that.

But just in case you don't believe me, come back next week and I'll bad mouth Lucas himself.

Do come back - you'll enjoy it! HOWEVER, I do want to see Lucas make BUCKETS O' money off this - I want to see Titanic lose it's place as the number one box office grossing film of all time. SEE YOU IN DAVEY JONES' LOCKER, CAMERON!

[http://www.guestbook.de/yasg.cgi?X=75379#top|Got an opinion? What is it?]

YOO WLL BHH A JDEYE, I PRMUS

About ten years ago I went to my local Toys R Us in New Jersey to buy the cool "talking Venom" action figure from Galoob (I think it was). While I am a big fan of the character of Venom, that wasn't the reason I was buying this particular figure. The design wasn't so hot and I already had a much cooler Venom who's tongue shot out when you flicked a lever on his back.

The reason I did want to grab this figure was because of one obvious thing - he talked. Well, really HE didn't, it was a hideously unrealistic and quite bulky backpack that did the speaking. But BOY did it say some COOL STUFF!!

First, there was the snarl - that was okay, but snarls never really translated well from comic books. Then there was "DIE, SPIDER-MAN!" which was pretty cool (it's always cool to threaten the good guy!!). Finally - and BEST of ALL, there was "I WANT TO EAT YOUR BRAIN!"

When I heard that the new action figures from the new Star Wars movie were supposed to talk, BOY was I excited. I always thought it would be cool to have a figure that could actually say "May the force be with you." Then, when I learned about the character Darth Maul I was VERY excited about having ANY of his dialog coming out of an action figure. But then I heard about HOW these figures were going to talk. The toy makers would encode special chips with lines of dialog from the movie and then embed the chips into plastic cards the figures could stand on. The only catch was, to actually hear your figures speak you would need to buy a chip reader.

Now, how stupid is THIS?

You gotta carry around this bulky-ass reader just to hear these little dudes talk? What's THAT about?!?

And what's worse - when the figures finally did come out - I discovered the price.

Twenty BUCKS!

You think that's enough money to make us spend JUST so we can make these figures do something we never needed them to do in the first place? Sure, I wanted Star Wars figures that spoke - but they aren't even speaking - it's some machine. I might as well just steal bits of dialog from the trailers on my computer and play them over and over. How LAME is this system?

But that's not all - the quality of these chips is ATROCIOUS!! DL these clips and be the judge for yourself:

Obi-Wan Kenobi: "You will be a jedi, I promise."

Jar-Jar Binks: "Oo, maxi bigs the force."

Qui-Gon Jinn: "May the Force be with you."

See what I mean? Those dialog clips are harder to understand than a line of dialog from Jar-jar Binks!! So much for great leaps in technology in the last ten years! Well, I get to have the last laugh, the chip readers aren't selling at all and are sure to be marked down just so Toys R Us can get rid of them. But still the effort they put into making all these chips and readers seems so... misplaced. Ah well, at least I still have my Venom backpack. Too bad I can't find the figure anywhere.

[http://www.guestbook.de/yasg.cgi?X=75379#top|Do YOU have a Commtech Reader? Was it worth the $20?]

DON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT THE HYPE!

One thing that I've heard a lot about from people who aren't as big a Star Wars fan as I, is that the hype for The Phantom Menace promised so much. I remember the week before the film opened film critics around the country warned: "Don't believe the hype!" Well, all I have to say is: "What hype?"

Think back a year. I don't know what it was like outside of Hollywood, but here in the "industry" there were billboards and bus ads and bus stop ads and commercials on TV and in print and just about anywhere else one could put an ad for the King of The Monsters-sized disappointment Godzilla. This film was so bad that the Japanese are now making their own sequel just to make it up to the world for selling the rights to "THE TEAM THAT BROUGHT YOU INDEPENDENCE DAY".

So these ads - they were EVERYWHERE. You couldn't drive a BLOCK without seeing these ads. They were placed by an ad company that was hired by the film's distributors. Now think for a moment - how many posters, ads, commercials, etc. have you seen that were ACTUALLY for The Phantom Menace? I can only recall seeing movie posters in movie theaters where I saw two trailers. I saw a few commercials on TV that were JUST for the movie. Even the merchandising ads were pretty inoffensive. I've only seen like four of the Taco Bell/KFC/Pizza Hut ads and they were kind of fun. They weren't over run either. Then, what else have you seen? Nothing comes to my mind.

OH wait - there's all the MEDIA COVERAGE. Every other day it seemed that Entertainment Tonight or Access Hollywood had another "story" on The Phantom Menace - OOOOO! Of course, everyone tuned in. Then there was the local news - every chance they got, they'd run the trailers and run the interviews and run the special behind the scenes clips and so forth. THAT'S the only hype that I was aware of. And that's just on the TV. You know how easy it is to avoid a news story? When the news guy says "Coming up next..." you turn off the TV.

Ooooo! Complain about the hype now.

[http://www.guestbook.de/yasg.cgi?X=75379#top|You want a piece o' me?!? HUH?!?]

DON'T BLAME ME!

You might think that with the amount of money The Phantom Menace has made, I might have a hard time finding people who hated it. Well, as I live and work in Hollywood, I seem to be bumping into every damn anti-PM fan there is.

What's worse is the way people approach me, seeming to expect an explanation from me as to why they didn't find the film as enjoyable as me. The other day at my dayjob one woman, who knew I was a big fan, walked up to me and told me how she had seen "my" movie. She actually refered to it as "MY" movie - honestly, my first thought was to wonder how she could have gotten a copy of my senior thesis from film school. I asked her to clarify and she explained that she had seen Phantom Menace and she really didn't like it. Which is fine - I have no problem with people who don't enjoy themselves (I think they're warped, depraved indivuduals, but hey, to each their own, right?) during the movie, but what I DON'T appreciate is when people HUNT ME DOWN just to tell me how much they hated the film.

One guy I spoke with actually said that it was the biggest piece of shit he'd ever seen. I wonder if this guy ever GOES to the movies or does he just sit at home and watch the Independent Film Channel. I asked him what he didn't like about it and he explained that the film had the worst acting. I then asked him if he enjoyed the performances in The Matrix and he dodged the question by pointing out how at least The Matrix was inventive. Well, sure, it is inventive to those of you who never saw Dark City.

This brings me to the conversation I had with one of my best friends in the world. She actually said that The Phantom Menace was NOT entertaining. My jaw dropped - I accused her of having seen the same movie all those lame critics saw before the REAL print hit movie screens on May 19th. She and I have many of the same tastes in film which is what astounded me. I then asked her what she didn't like about it and she explained that she was expecting this movie to knock her socks off - she expected a life changing experience in this film. After this conversation ended (with a "nice arguing with ya!" from me) I thought back to what the guy at work had said. He was the one who commented that the film had horrible acting. Well...

WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU EXPECTING?!?

Then I think of my close friend who was EXPECTING to have her life changed by TPM.

WHO THE HELL GOES INTO A MOVIE EXPECTING TO HAVE THEIR LIFE CHANGED????

I mean, HOW can you have the GALL to be UPSET when a movie doesn't live up to THOSE kinds of expectations?

And as far as the comment about the acting is concerned - ARE YOU THE DOPE OR ARE YOU SMOKING IT?? DUDE, Why would you expect good acting in a movie directed by a guy WHO HASN'T DIRECTED ANYTHING IN 22 YEARS?!? GEE - YOU THINK THERE'S A REASON LUCAS HASN'T DIRECTED A LICK SINCE STAR WARS BACK IN 1977?!? IT'S BECUASE HE'S A CRAPPY DIRECTOR! THINK ABOUT IT!

Honestly, anyone who went into this film thinking it would even be good is ignoring the statistics. Can you name the last film Lucas was a producer on? I'm not sure and I'm a movie buff! I can tell you that he had more than his big-toe stuck in a LOT of films that were pretty bad. The easy one to reference is Howard The Duck but there are SO many more. I know a few people who actually liked Willow but not many people seemed to.

Then there's Radioland Murders and then... and then... I can't think of any more. But isn't that the point? The guy makes three films that are less than perfect (let's be honest now!) but they are totally different from what we were expecting. Since then the only really impressive thing he's done (creatively)was conjuring the character Indiana Jones.

So think about it - he did all this cool stuff in the late 70s and early 80s and then ZIP. ALL CRAP. So why does ANYONE expect this film to be DECENT AT ALL?!?

I'm not defending Lucas' film here, I'm attacking people's attitudes toward it. It DISGUSTS me that people can go see a total piece of crap movie like Titanic and think it's the bomb (instead of A bomb) and then come see TPM and think it had crappy acting. Grow up you losers. Enjoy the film as much as you like and bitch about it on your own web pages if you don't like the fact that I enjoy the hell out of The Phantom Menace every DAMN time I see it!

[http://www.guestbook.de/yasg.cgi?X=75379#top|Did YOU like "The Phantom Menace"?]