I can't help thinking of Adolf Eichmann when I look at 1) our Elvis-impersonating terrorist who thinks the local hospital is hoarding body parts and 2) the Chechnyan Beavis and Butthead who managed to kill and maim scores of people despite being bigger screwups than the entire Reservoir Dogs gang.
Don't let your freedoms be taken away by people who say such and such a place or event is vulnerable or open to attack. If these guys can successfully terrorize people, there can't be any way to stop serious threats short of a North Korean police state. Every occasion and location is theoretically vulnerable. Our best protection is to build a society that eschews violence. And, when someone does go off the farm, we want a society where there is no general toleration for the act. In Chechnya or Syria or Iraq, these two boneheads would likely have found help and protection from some percentage of the population. Not so in Boston, or anywhere else in America.
PS- Today must have been CNN's wet dream. This was like a real-life version of the Running Man (the enjoyable Richard Bachman aka Steven King book, not the awful movie), with similarly high ratings.
I have read most of Stephen King's novels, and like many of them. But some of my favorites were the four novels he wrote as Richard Bachman, in part because they were actually, you know, novel length rather than thousand-page monstrosities.
I have discussed in other posts that the Bachman book "the Running Man" is one of the movies I would most love to remake. The movie was a silly farce where the lead actor (the governator) was out-acted by Richard Dawson, for God sakes.
This week while my daughter was sick I reread "the Long Walk." Its one of those love it or hate it things -- the Amazon reviews are split between 5 star reviews and 1 star reviews.
I would love to make a movie of "the Long Walk." It would not be that expensive to make -- the whole book takes place with a hundred teenage boys walking a couple hundred miles down a road. Seriously, 10-12 unknown teenaged actors, 90 or so other extras, a couple of steadicams on a flatbed truck. The crowd scenes at the end would take a lot of extras, don't know how expensive that would be, but I think a really interesting movie could be made. I picture something ala Kirosawa, maybe even in black and white. The concept also seems to suggest Tarantino, which reminds me of a movie called Battle Royale that is a sort of similar, but much more violent concept, which Tarantino once listed among his ten favorites.
PS- This would also be a really cool play. Picture a big moving conveyor belt from front to back of the stage, so the actors walk a steady pace through the whole show.
Movie deal for Old Man's War.
Also heard that Ridley Scott is doing the Forever War.
By the way, I was working on a list of SF stories that were completed screwed up as movies in the 80's and 90's, so much so they would be worth a remake. So far I have only a couple, but would appreciate suggestions
- Starship Troopers
- Running Man
- Total Recall (not as awful as the first two but had that same cheesy unserious style that brings it down for me)
I suppose some might put Robocop in this category but I am attached to that movie, in part because if there was an underlying novel I hadn't read it, and the campiness kind of worked.
Channel surfing last night, I ran into the Running Man, an unfortunate movie "adaption" of a pretty good Steven King (as Richard Bachman) book. For those who have seen one and not the other, they have little in common with each other.
What I hadn't realized before was just how bizarre the casting for this movie was -- Richard Dawson, the cheesy game show host as a ... cheesy game show host. Jim Brown, Dweezil Zappa and Mick Fleetwood? The latter, by the way, as himself but in the future. Whatever.
But the best part is that the movie has two United States governors in substantial roles -- Arnold Schwarzenegger (California) in the title role and Jesse Ventura (Minnesota) as one of the "stalkers" trying to kill Arnold. Is this a great country or what?
Do ya'll know any others? I know Sonny Bono did a Love Boat guest appearance, so there must have been two Congressmen in one TV episode (with Fred Grandy of Iowa). There may be a Fred Thompson +1 out there I can't think of. And of course there were probably some Ronald Reagan matchups, but that is before my time.
Update: Rob reminds me that the Ventura-Schwarzenegger team can also be found in Predator.
I went to see the movie Wanted today, mainly because I am home alone and tried to pick the movie I was least likely to take my wife or kids to.
If you like non-stop action movies with computer game physics and lots of CGI close-ups of bullets drilling through people's skulls that were fired by a smoking-hot assassin babe played by Angelina Jolie who actually had to add tats rather than hide them for this role (and, really, who doesn't?), then you will probably enjoy the movie. The lost opportunity in the film was the very beginning, which sortof tried to be Office Space without being nearly as good. But there is certainly a big hint that Office Space was on the director's mind - don't miss the red stapler, though it didn't look like a classic Swingline.
As an additional note, I see from the previews that someone has done a remake of Death Race 2000, though it seems to bear about the same resemblance to the original as the Running Man did to the original Steven King / Richard Bachman book. The whole fight-against-the-dystopic-state thing seems to have been lost. By the way, can't they find any actor other than Jason Statham to portray someone who drives cars fast?
As a final shout-out to SF geeks out there, trolling around on IMDB led me, via Morgan Freeman of all people, to this page which seems to imply a Rendezvous with Rama movie is in the works.
Postscript: I will never be mistaken for a social conservative, but I did find it odd today that in a preview that was supposedly "approved for all audiences" there were numerous F-bombs dropped. Update: OK, I can't be sure that this particular preview was "all audiences." All the ones that followed were, but it may be they have grittier versions of previews they show before R-rated features.
Clarification: Sorry if it was not clear, but I actually did enjoy the movie. Sort of a guilty pleasure. Fixed Jason Statham's name, thanks to commenter.
Nearly every dystopic novel I have ever read usually has an all-powerful state that insists on televisions everywhere in all public and private spaces to spew government propaganda and rebellion-soothing-entertainment at the masses. (Example: Richard Bachman / Stephen King's Running Man, which is a much better novel than a movie.)
I am reminded of this every time I go to an airport. Why is it every airport feels the need to have CNN blaring from televisions spaced out every 20 feet or so. You can't escape it or turn it off. Do they really think I am so much of a moron that I can't entertain myself or even sit quietly without video Valium blaring at me every second. Can't we maybe have some little quiet TV-free rooms, like the smoking rooms spaced around the airport?
I am an active computer gamer and much of the talk in the community is the uproar EA has caused by putting ads in Battlefield 2042. Much of the discussion is not fact-based, but just panicky rumor-mongering, but one can see how much people don't want advertising pushed at them. Which is funny to me, because ubiquitous TV in airports seems a much more annoying push than a few ads in a game.