Category Archives: movies

Remastering failure

That is a question I am wondering about. This all started last night when I saw some advertisement of Belvedere Vodka with Daniel Craig (kind of) dancing in it. This reminded me of Christoper Walken in the video of Weapon of choice by Fatboy Slim. This is how it started. You see, in 1980 he starred in a movie called Dogs of war, made after a book by Frederick Forsyth. The cast was good, I personally liked the movie, yet it only made $5.4 million on a $8 million budget. A failure Hollywood would say. Another movie made on an unpublished work was The Wild Geese from 1978, also all star cast making almost 10 million on a nearly 12 million budget. Another failure according to Hollywood. Still they were good movies and both had unorthodox settings in those days. The audience was not ready for these movies.

So what happens when Netflix, Apple or Amazon takes a stab at these making them massively darker, making them larger (like a Mini series) You see, these movies could never be made in 135 minutes. But in 4-6 episodes of 60-90 minutes this takes on a whole new form and this time it is to an audience who is ready for the setting of either movie. And not for nothing, Frederick Forsyth has published a whole range of books that could be redone. Some more readily then others. We think of the fourth protocol as the movie that launched Pierce Brosnan into stardom, and opposing Michael Caine he did the job, but in this day and age that setting is suddenly a lot more real than ever before. The Fourth Protocol made twice the budget, as such it might not be seen as a failure. Yet these stories could rake in the viewers and therefor the cash. I am considering the thought that these movies were ahead of their time and Hollywood trying to blockbuster whatever they could got to these scripts too early. This is merely a personal view and optionally not the right one. Yet I wonder if anyone in these three houses looked at the movies that never made a profit and wondered if they could now. Both Wild Geese and the Dogs of War had the setting of a good story, they had the background to make it interesting (especially Steward Granger as the exploiting merchant banker Sir Edward Matheson in Wild Geese), all sides that were never explored, you could not do that in 134 minutes. Yet now, in the streaming age these jewels could make a new appearance, they are over 40 years old now. I wonder what more these three could find if they altered the vision they have. 

Good movies aren’t grown on trees, they are found in scripts and at the moment the search for scripts is a whole new problem (until the strikes are a thing of the past). They might not have script writers now, but the preamble to prepare for tomorrow is not something you want to leave in the field, not in this day and age.

Enjoy Monday, the weekend is almost yesterday.


Leave a comment

Filed under movies

James Gunn? Nope, not here.

This all started yesterday. There were two events that got me there. The first was Colin Jost making a reference to the Man of Steal, this of course made me wonder how much Scarlett Johansson has howling with laughter on the sofa watching Colin say things Michael Che was feeding him, with the Halloween event making Colin burst out “You’re evil” being an absolute number one. The second one was something I had heard before, somehow it got back into my mindset. “Which Superheroes could be black?” It was a questions I had heard around the relaunch of the Fantastic Four. I am a traditional kind of guy, I feel uneasy watching any hero switch race. This does work both ways. As such Lucas Cage could never be caucasian, neither could Cloak from cloak and dagger. It might be me, it might be to keep things how the cartoonist designed them to be. Yet, the question remains valid. As such my mind started to ponder. And in light of the animated series I think that the Green Lantern could be black, then two more ‘heroes’ entered the frame. The first one was Ghost Rider, the second one was a lot darker and based on what some would regard a farce. You see Blacula was a weird setting and I never saw it in the cinema, I saw it much later. Yet consider two creatures with links to the occult. Which reminded me of a print I saw decades ago. A Nazi high table that was investigating the occult. What if there was a story where these (however members there were) and we reconsidered the first Indiana Jones, as well as other supernatural items and we have two movies with links to each other, but not overlapping (in the beginning). The Ghost Rider we need to drop because it is not DC, but we still have Green Lantern, Deadman and optionally Blacula. Yet, now Blacula is not some joke. How about we make that vampire dark, I mean really dark so that we consider the House on haunted Hill a weak comedy. The darkest of dark with a matching storyline. This line will not appeal to all, I get that, but a movie that appeals to all will in the end be praised by no-one. And as the story unfolds and we see more of these very dark pages we introduce a horror group into the DC fold, and I am no James Gunn, as such I am entertaining the utterly bizarre. We see in the the comics that Yellow is the Kryptonite of the Green Lantern, as such sulphur would equally do and we could get a link to the realm of Mephistopheles (he sends his regards). A set of movies that are separate enough and only in the fifth movie we start seeing connections with the stage that the fifth is less watchable unless you saw at least one of the previous four. We lose out on Constantine and Ghost Rider as Marvel was ahead of its time, but there are other avenues to tap into and even DC has its rankings and not all are of the occult (and need not be), but what happens when Green Lantern, Blacula and Deadman connect? There are all kinds of issues and all kinds of twists that could make a good storyline. The story wasn’t too bad and the idea of a African prince Mamuwalde in modern times where we still have human trafficking and slave trade could make for an interesting twist, that is beside the stage that African Shaman magic has never been explored to the degree it could have which gives us more than merely the supernatural. The nice side here is that with the ancient African sides optional sides to Egypt and Mesopotamia open up. The same could be said for the other choices in other directions. All venues that Marvel never touched on and even as they have their own stallions in the stable, there is nothing against having another stable that make a black stable look mediocre bland. This is possible, remember Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) in no country for old man? Setting the stage of evil is merely a stage that makes the person darker the more we believe it is closer to reality. If that wasn’t true we would merely giggle at the side of Hannibal the Cannibal, but we do not, even as we realise that it is mostly the actor giving it live and we have plenty of non caucasian great actors (including Asians here). So consider a massively dark role and now we get a person like Jamie Foxx to put on the vampire shroud. How dark can the story become? As an alternative we could consider Chiwetel Ejiofor or Idris Elba both great actors in their own way, as such they will give a different spin to the character, optionally really great spins. As such it is clear that I am no James Gunn, I never intended to be a copy of him, but I reckon that I see the potential of great DC heroes or anti heroes and they could all be black, as such the question “Which Superheroes could be black” is answered, I still have some ‘conservative’ feels about it, as such my imagination doesn’t take me to the Man of Steal (sorry Michael Che), but there are plenty of options in the DC Universe and dare I say the Marvel Universe as well.

Enjoy the day, Monday is almost here.

Leave a comment

Filed under movies

Behind the eyelids

Two dreams got to me and they both happened on the same night. The first one is weird in all kinds of ways. I cannot tell whether it is the foundation of a game, a movie or something else. In this dream it is mostly about some new MMORPG. It has a scientific side. You see the premise is that in these games most people become like herd-people. They will cluster into tasks. There will always be the ‘hero’ and goes racing into enemy hands getting himself (or herself) killed. In this my mind reached back to the original Star Trek specifically the episode ‘Shore Leave’ there we learn “The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.” That quote always meant something to me. Now consider the MMORPG and now we can monitor interactions, but not draining the game. In this two bird types are addd to the game. The Albatros, a bird that flies around the shores of a nation and it has the ability to carpet the fields collecting thoughts and observing interactions to groups of people and the second bird is the Hawk. That one focusses on smaller areas and can pick up one specific character. Now you think that there is not a lot more, but consider that these two can like the character to the actual person outside of the game. Now we have a way to tag people, the undesirable and the willing. You see, the more simplistic the setting (Roman, Greek, Carthaginians, Egyptian), the more basic the weapons, the more that person will embrace his character, the character will more and more be the real person. That also means that now those behind the screens can unite the both and find the willing, the dangerous and the unknown players. Without any real intrusion to that persons ‘privacy’ the people orchestrating the game can make a mould of groups and clusters of people. That was as far as I got. There are all kinds of ‘measurements’ in real life and for the most they are all marketing based, but what happens when games take them to the next stage? It is not out of the realm of possibilities and that could make for a nice game, or movie for that matter.

The second dream took me to Slovenia (never been there myself). In the dream it was a movie (of sorts) the main roles were a spymaster of the CIA being called to the issues in Slovenia where he spend his early years and he had fond memories of it. Slovenia was overrun by the Russians and it was a power-knot of Russian forces, the FSB and the GRU. Central in the story was a fort or castle where they were housed at. The spymaster was played by Brian Cox (the true love of Helen Mirren, R.E.D.) and his student and main protagonist Ryan Gosling (aka Barbie’s Ken). The story is that taking out the heads of the FSB and GRU will throw the entire setting in turmoil and there they have an edge. A electrician and sympathiser found a door leading to a secret exit. He closed the door and sealed the door claiming it has dangerous toxic fumes. The door doesn’t lead to anything as such it was accepted. And he leads the people through the secret exit into the castle. We see him rewire lights and rewire options and the exit leads to a small room with two connecting rooms. They smuggle in hardware, they smuggle in equipment and they are ready. They have to wait three days until that sumit starts and several Russian bigwigs are in attendance.  In the meantime Brian and Ryan are around town confirming what they can and as the buildup of Russian forces are visible they seem to be on the wining side. In the meantime the Slovenian resistance has their head people in the room as well, they all want a claim towards striking such a blow to Russia. It is whilst driving Brian notices something, He grabs a baby monitor (CIA edition) and quickly states “It’s a trap, get out, get out now”, they sit in the car surrounded by Russian trucks being as small a shadow as possible. He states to Ryan “How many Russian soldiers do you know reading the bible whilst on watch?” The electrician was FSB, this was a play from the beginning to capture the Slovenian resistance. And yes, the door opens and Russian forces come pouring in. They had set up some traps with Ammonia and bleach (creating Chlorine gas) but the two dozen soldiers are all wearing masks. The resistance is all captured. Ryan has an idea to get back in and complete the mission, but he has a trump card. He studied the plans and that room links to another place. That is where he placed some boobytrapped weapons and he gets there by stealth killing the Russian soldiers and placing MRUD’s (Slovenian claymore) on the stairwell. He then goes to the place he knew about and uses some clustered RPG on the dignitaries stand who were there to watch the resistance leaders die. He escapes as quickly as possible and we do never know how the resistance people fared. He hopes that the confusion gave them an escape option. He then aids Brian as he was suckered into this deal by finding a former CIA executive, who was a Russian double all along. 

Brian walks away from his friends corpse stating “Sometimes you bite the bear, when you do make sure you bite hard” and Ryan follows him. 

One night, optional watching two movies for free. Well, they don’t exist yet, so that is my creative mind on a binge in dreamland.

Have a great Friday, only 3 days until Monday.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, movies, Science

Changing the narrative

That happens at times. Narratives are slightly altered, but in this case? The media to a much larger degree are changing the narrative of the strikes at the Writers Guild of America. Is it because of advertisement needs? Is it because the streaming corporations now have a hold on them? You tell me. In this I have two examples. The first is ABC and even though the headline is deceptive, they do give all the facts. 

Yet others are seemingly not doing that. They are all about the AI side, yet the two largest issues which are the unbelievable amount of underpaid writers as well as the streaming revenue where writers get next to nothing are massive issues. ABC does mention them but plenty of them do not. I saw at least a few of them copying other texts almost to the letter and no mention of streaming issues. Why is that? It is all nice that the WGA is on strike and picketing, but the media should at least take one small effort to hand the real issues and all of them to the public. The media has lost enough credibility as it is and as such we need to wake up (and fast). 

As I heard it new media (streaming) was not addressed satisfactory the last time around, because it was really new. So to read that some writers creating winning series need a government handout to get by is clearly insane. And it will cost Hollywood a lot more then they realise. What happens when the Commonwealth (Australia, Canada, United Kingdom) take over? What happens when the Dubai stage of G5 starts catering to global streaming? What happens when China with Tencent Technologies adjusts to this stream whilst paying a proper income? America might shun it all and stats that these series are not welcome, yet I believe that parts of Asia, Europe and the Middle East are ready for change and Hollywood better tarts realising really fast that the latter three players are close to 60% of their income stream. When that falls away it will be one of several multi billion income streams falling away. First Defence, then IT now streaming and as I see it both the UAE and China are chomping at the bit to take a slice of that income stage. 

So whilst the media is pondering how to cater to advertisers, they better realise that when that falls away they have nothing left. One of my IP will already hurt advertisement money to a decent amount, the streaming industry will hurt a lot more when the shift to any of the other three players come through. All stages that were out in the open for all to admire, that was until the media changed the narrative as I see it. I have no idea how long this strike will last, but at the end when writers vacate to a place where they end up having a decent income, plenty of series will collapse, perhaps not completely, but several will lose the little talent they had at their disposal. Yet for these providers there is still one option, a reality show based on republican politicians with real republican politicians. They will take any limelight that will have them and it could be hosted by Tucker Carlson, apparently he is looking for a job. So how is that future of streaming? Yes, there is an upcoming issue with AI, but that will take time. The fact that paid writers still require government handouts whilst these series make billions is disgusting and it will not take long until some will show the people this and plead that we cancel out streaming subscriptions. What happens when the people on mass agree?

Enjoy Sunday and consider the price of what you are watching on your streaming channel.

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, movies

The empty wall

That happens, the writings is not always on the wall and now with the writers strike in the US, that wall may be empty for some days. Before I go into the now, lets consider what happened 15 years ago when the writers had their fill of exploitation. They went on strike for 100 days and the cost to the California economy was a thumping 2 billion dollars. That setting just now after covid would buckle many players all at one, making the US economy take a turn down in a stage it cannot afford it. There are other elements as well, but they do not matter at present. I was thrown by stories last week about writers that were living on US support. The people that are the foundation for billions in profit are not given a fair shake. How is that for greed and exploitation. They are not asking for the moon, they merely want a fair shake, a decent income. And I cannot see why not. I write stories, I created the foundation of movies and TV series. As such I identify with their needs. Not because of the income or the work I am in. I write for fun and to keep my skills honed. Yet the power of creation is strong and I can identify and side with anyone who made that their life’s ambition. 

As such when the BBC (at gave me ‘Hollywood strike: Late night comedy shows to go dark as writers’ walkout begins’ I took notice. It wasn’t merely “A Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike, the first in 15 years, saw more than 11,000 writers – 98% of voting members – walk out from midnight. Tuesday’s late-night shows are expected to shut down first, while forthcoming shows and films could face delays.” This wasn’t merely a majority rules setting. 98 percent agreed, that is more than strong. It shows that the greed driven parties have taken things too far. I know it is not that simple, but that is the feeling it gives us. In. Place like the US where most people cannot agree one way or the other, 98% agreed and that number needs to sink in with many of us. We see the late night show references, but the larger stage is that this is not about one employer, one show or one movie. This is about the bulk of all and that matters, especially when a person like me throws the terms ‘greed’ and ‘exploitation’ into the mix, because that is how I feel about it. When I see stories about creators of successful series being on government support, something does not add up and these two term come to mind. 

And there is a larger stage with “This time around, writers are clashing with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) – which represents the major studios, including Amazon, Disney, Netflix and Paramount – in demand of higher pay and a greater share of the profits from the modern streaming boom” the BBC gives us part, but I believe that there is more. You see when we see ‘a greater share of the profits’ we think it is the writing, but what we forget that streaming profit streams in ‘ad infinitum’ and even if that were true, that is not what the writers get, nowhere near what the writers get. To give a simplistic version, if that setting was completely true. A person like Dorothy Catherine Fontana could (due to her involvement in Star Trek The Next Generation) buy David Hasselhoff out of his $51 million mansion and take it for herself. Even if she got a mere $0.05 per episode, Star Trek TNG has been running in syndication since it aired in 1987 and it is still running at full speed on Netflix, even today. Not all series get there and not all do that well, but there is a time gap, there is a larger stage. Consider that a radio station has to register every record they play, because the composer gets a royalty fee, this has been going on for decades. So why is there no setting for streaming? Now, I am over simplifying this and I am setting a slightly inaccurate example but the premise stays the writers want a fair shake and when we see that industry make billions, why not? The stage is that streaming is a new media that is not completely understood. Some see it as a temporary stage, some see it as the next iteration in media and there is a reason that studios are jumping on that train, it is where the consumers are and during that jump some thought it was a sweet deal in a few ways, yet the people creating those series are largely forgotten, that is how the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and its members feel about it and when you have to make ends meet that feeling of happiness sour in seconds and that is what I believe we see now. 

And when we see “Key issues in the talks have been how writers get paid for shows which often remain on streaming platforms for years, as well as the future impact of artificial intelligence on writing.” And here again we see two different settings. You see AI does not exist, whatever comes from these solutions isn’t created from the mind, it comes from data, data that these writers contributed. See it as an IT solution to cloning the writers mind, based on data the IT solution never created in the first place. So how long until they are made obsolete? And when I see “The AMPTP said it had offered a “comprehensive package proposal” including higher pay for writers.

But it was unwilling to improve that offer further “because of the magnitude of other proposals still on the table that the Guild continues to insist upon.”” I do not see a solution or a proposal, I see a stalling tactic, a way to keep more and hand out less to a people who created the success in the first place. In this Jimmy Fallon (the comedian) gives us “Arriving at the Met Gala, Fallon said he hoped the strike would not go ahead, but at the same time wanted to see “a fair deal” agreed for writers. “I need my writers real bad, I got no show without my writers”” which I think is the true part and with ‘a fair deal’ he hits the WGA nail on the head, I wonder how long it will take the AMPTP to take a serious stand and not true to negotiate part by part and with a ‘win’ on every segment. You see,100 days is enough for some streamers to find whatever they can in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, not to overlook Korea, Japan and India. All players that will have time and with 100 perhaps even longer to find players to go for THEIR solutions. They have been in the dark a lot longer and they are hungry for desperate streamers. How much damage will that bring. I reckon it will be more than the $2,000,000,000 the industry had the last time and when that happens, who will win? I feel certain that at that point the AMPTP will not feel like a winner. You see, a player like Netflix relies on its 230 million subscribers, especially outside of the US, their subscribers will look for other solutions when Netflix does not deliver. All this whilst the WGA and its members merely seek a fair deal? This could end up being a mopping exercise whilst the tap remains running. A lot of energy going nowhere and the spectators can clearly see that tap running. The empty wall is not merely the lack of creativity, it will be the result by not decently rewarding creativity. But it is early days, it is merely week 1 of the setting, the writers are adamant. How strong is the AMPTP deal? I honestly do not know because I have not seen any of these documents, but writers that take hunger over food whilst being underpaid is not a good setting, greed never wins over desperation, history taught us that lesson the hard way a few times over.

Enjoy this marvellous day past Sunday.

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Media, movies

The price of exploitation

This time I am going in a different direction, one I know little (say: nothing) about, yet the news the BBC gives me is baffling me. I wonder if the US (and Hollywood) realise the dangers of exploitation, even more important how it could impact their economy. To start this we need to take a look at ‘How a Hollywood strike could affect your favourite TV shows’ (at Now to be clear strikes happen, they are almost a fact of life. You are either striking, or you get hit by the impact directly or indirectly. So here we get “The biggest issue is how writers are paid in the new streaming economy, with many reporting lower wages as digital platforms have upended traditional television and film productions, says the Writers Guild of America, the union representing television and film writers.” And then we get the ugly “Hollywood’s business model has been completely disrupted by streaming, and now writers complain of being asked to provide weeks or months of free rewrites of scripts” and that got to me. An institution that gets a billion or more per movie? That institution has to ask for rewrites under zero hours compensation? How fucked up is Hollywood? We can go in any direction, but Hollywood made $7,370,000,000 in 2022. I reckon shelling out 130-150 million for 11,500 Writers Guild member is not that big a leap, especially when you realise that “The last writers’ strike in 2007-2008 lasted 100 days and cost the California economy $2bn (£1.6bn), leading to many cancelled or delayed shows. Some have also credited it with boosting the proliferation of reality TV.” The business person in me states that losing 150 million is preferable to losing 2,000 million to a strike with the added loss of optionally successful TV series. As such I wonder where the greed driven stage of Hollywood is taking them, especially when Canada has its own production companies and they could get up to 100 days of advance house cleaning (the house names Hollywood). That is before you consider Brandon Hines who gives us “I just wrote on a show and I can’t eat, I rely on government assistance.” A series writer on government assistance? And you wonder why the writing guild is angry? Now there is another side, there are so many shows pushed out at present that I feel that something will have to give. A place like Netflix alone is allegedly spending $17,000,000,000 for content in 2024. I have no idea what the drill down is and it is likely too complex, yet I expect that writers are undervalued there as well. So what happens when the cream of the crop vacates to Canada or the UK (or Australia)? You can scream all you like, but these people seemingly have had enough and puts the pressure in other places too. All these TV hosts that suddenly cannot sound funny anymore. All these hosts that have nothing on the tele-prompter when that takes a front seat the Hollywood economy will take a dive whilst they rely on second or third class writers. So what happens to the Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (2024) when it relies on writing students scripting the day away? What happens when an expected revenue of this movie ($1.7B) makes no more than $850M? I can tell you that the investors will take a run towards Canada and the UK, optionally Australia as well.

You tell me what the gain of greed is, because as I see it there is absolutely no positive side to that, but wait until May 8th 2023 and see shows (movies too) getting cancelled. All this was a simple application of Business Intelligence, an abacus was enough to set the parameters of this folly. The weird part is that we see “Hollywood’s business model has been completely disrupted by streaming”, they had years to correct for that and I would reckon that a revue savvy place like Hollywood would have their own regiment of BI people all over the place. So what did I see that THEY ignored, you tell me because I am at a loss.

Enjoy the weekend

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Media, movies

What was could be again

Lets take a step back to 1996, Geena Davis was a big hit, Renny Harlin was enjoying the fame that Die Hard 2 brought and in 1996 they brought the Long Kiss Goodnight. I loved that movie, I am wondering what caused the 95 million over a 65 million investment. I haven’t seen the movie for a while, but it is around somewhere. The story is captivating and the actions were awesome. If there was one issue, than it is the issues that all movies suffer, you can safe the world in 90 minutes, or you can sit down and create a 360-540 minute event. Places like Netflix could enjoy the longer sway that a mini series has and when you see some of the movies from the 90’s like Long Kiss Goodnight, there is a push. You see the list of movies, especially action movies where the woman has the lead are short, as such this movie has a chance to make it a lot bigger, especially as movies is an immediate investment from your pocket and with streamers you give it a chance and that would work well for some. The mini series is debated again and again, but the evidence cannot be denied. Series like the Bodyguard with Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes put the power in the piece and the pressure remains until almost the very end with the final spin that gives you a kick and rewatching it does not take the kick away. And when you do that to a piece like the Long Kiss Goodnight you could end up with the kind of result that puts you to the top of the bill for a long time. The cast was good, yet I had some issues with Craig Bierko. Not the part he played, he played it just fine. His face was the one of a person who seems more in place as an intern at the CIA mail room (enter the lobby, go past security, turn right, then first left. Walk through the corridor, take the elevator on the right and go to -1. Then head, out turn right and the second door on the right. That mail room). I think that a person like Pilou Asbæk could turn this into something truly scary. There are all kind of voices on who would be the best female person. Geena Davis did make this the cult hit it now is, as such my mind wanders towards Lena Headey or Krysten Ritter. Don’t get me wrong, a person like Scarlett Johansson could do an excellent part too. However people like her are the too obvious choices. I think that Geena Davis was never the obvious choice and she put the two women there in a way that is not easily surpassed. In that movie Craig and Geena were the fireworks and they played their parts well. I reckon that with the right cast and the right director, the Long Kiss Goodnight by Shane Black could be raking in the results. And in a mini series that has the foundation to equal if not surpass a piece like the bodyguard (not the Costner version), the question becomes how good and what kind of a killer smash that movie could be turned into.

And lets face it Hollywood will be looking for options when there is a writer strike on their doorstep. It was just a thought. Enjoy the day.

Leave a comment

Filed under movies

The drifting mind

It happens to me, my mind wanders at times. It happened yesterday as I was watching a Deep Space Nine Episode called ‘Empok Nor’. You see, my mind is still trying to work out Season 4 of Kenos Diastima. It is still up for debate. You see, Kenos Diastima had an open ending at the end of season 3. I was in the mindset to keep it an open ending, but part of me was considering taking a tight turn to the far right on this and make season 4 a espionage approach. It would also require a new cast, a complete new cast (for obvious reasons which I will not mention here). The stage was set to new needs and to new considerations, but it feels a little weird. There was an additional idea to create a new series that connects to Kenos Diastima, so my mind was a little all over the place. It was at that point I started to consider a few things. You see all the star Trek series I know the original, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, Discovery and Picard. They all have humans in the lead. But the United Federation of planets had 4 founding races. As such Empok Nor gave me an idea. What if the new series is about the Andorians. The franchise has given us a good grasp, but what happens when they are in charge, it is slightly before the UFP and they had found a damaged human freighter and they kept the engineers as they were short on engineers. This team finds an abandoned Romulan space station, but that station is already more advanced than either Andorians or Humans were used to. They start exploring the station and find all kinds of things, logs and recordings which gives us stories about Romulan life and these episodes will be part in the station and part on what the logs play out, we see as such a multitude of stories play out and it gives 4 stories. The station story, the Romulan log stories (on Romulus and so on), the Andorian stories and the human stories. So you have basically 4 steady locations (Station, Earth, Romulus and Andoria) and several other locations. 

You see, I do not know why, but for the most Paramount seemingly never considered making the alien race the dominant one, or perhaps they did and they rejected it. We also see how the Andorians ‘borrow’ (steal seems too harsh) these ideas they find and patent it to themselves, calling all kind of emotions and considerations into the frame of things. I reckon something like this might have 2-3 seasons, but that is still a nice run. I will admit that part of this is driven by my love of a game I worshipped since 1994 called System Shock. There we find stories as well, but they were short stories and most of them connected to codes and such. Origin systems had a great setting there, the fact that I still think of that series 30 years later is proof of that and the remake is supposed to come to the PS5 this year. But as another Star Trek Franchise it could work as well, but the setting needs to change and the fact that the franchise speaks over the hostilities between Vulcan and Andoria implies that the Romulan find could open other doors in storytelling as well. Optionally even a link between Romulus and Vulcan, but that is merely a simple slither towards the storyline. 

What is interesting is that all this shaped in less than an hour, the shaping of the thoughts was quicker than me typing all this. So even as it did not solve my Kenos Diastima dilemma, it might help me create the foundation of season 4, the way I think it might have the power to contribute, if not, I will not min, the end of season 3 was powerful enough to make minds baffle. And at times that is all the storyteller hopes for, a baffled mind that goes ‘Are you freaking kidding me?

I can be that simple and that mean at times. Enjoy Easter.

Leave a comment

Filed under movies, Stories

Simple curiosity

It all started with one word. I was browsing the Middle East Monitor (at and the word retelling. Now in media the word retelling has a negative connection, especially when the word narrative is in that sentence, as such the title ‘Saudi Arabia is retelling the Hijrah and shaping a new narrative through art’ drew my attention. Now, I had no idea what Hijrah was, so I had to look it up. Hijrah gave me “the Prophet Muhammad’s migration (622 ce) from Mecca to Yathrib (Medina) upon invitation in order to escape persecution”, as a non-Muslim I had no idea of that, as such I was interested to learn more. It must have been quite the trip as it is about 450Km. Which on camel implies about 3 days travel. But back to the article. There we are given “The exhibition “Hijrah: In the Footsteps of the Prophet” and the documentary “In the Footsteps of the Beloved” are embracing historical and scientific evidence, signalling a change in Saudi Arabia. There is a long sequence in the movie where a Saudi archaeologist, very thin and emaciated, is walking up a mountain in the desert. A black man is bravely holding an umbrella sheltering him from the sun, and going up the hill with him. It’s a long sequence, that seems almost to stress the suffering of the two men. The archaeologist in the film is actually Dr Abdullah Alkadi, a scholar who — according to a guide at the King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture (Ithra) — travelled in the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad more than fifty times in order to retrace the Prophet’s 8-day journey from Makkah to Madinah in 622, known as the Hijrah.” Now that is a worthy side for anyone to see and as Dr Alkadi is focussing on historical evidence, aided by science and modern technology we get to see the a side of Islam that anyone would, or should be interested in seeing. And then the jackpot comes from Idries Trevathan, curator of Ithra. He gives us “bringing scientific evidence through the medium of art allowed us a bit more freedom of exploration” that is one art show I should try to visit (well, when it comes to Sydney), perhaps it never comes to Sydney and we would have to visit it in Saudi Arabia. Scientific views through art is a noble endeavour, no matter what the narrative tends to be. No matter how I see it, this is something all non-Muslims need to take notice off and I feel certain if this movie makes it to BluRay I will seek it out. With my extremely limited knowledge of Islam, I had nothing more than the movie ‘How to assassinate a politician’, I wonder what people with actual knowledge of Islam can create and the title ‘In the footsteps of the prophet’ seems a lot more worthy. Even as it is seen a more arthouse and lacking action, it gives a larger population an insight towards the prophet. Anyone who wanted to learn more about Islam should be on the first line of a place that sells the movie after its cinema release. I reckon that sales numbers will go through the roof in Bangla Dash, Egypt, Indonesia and Turkey as well. 

And I did not seek this out, one word drew me into the article and I learned a whole lot more that hour than merely something about a narrative. There are times when simple curiosity pays off in the most unexpected ways. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, movies, Religion

Blocked by greed?

It happens, good ideas fall down merely by the setting of greed. I get that some people revere greed, they pray qt the shrine of coin to get more, forever they prey to get more. Yet what happens when greed gets in the way of a good deal? For that we merely have to look at the place where boobs and smiles are as genuine as a crooked politician trying to get reelected. The forever need to drive that movie that will bring in a billion plus and some make it. Some make movies that gets the juices of desire flowing. Marvel is an excellent example. But you need a small education in reality. You see when we think directors one of the most famous and most achieved directors is Steven Spielberg, he gained revenue of $10,665,089,317 yet it took him 37 movies to get there and there are many nowhere near as good as him. So how about that $1 billion mark? When we look at franchises Harry Potter might be one of the most visible ones. In this Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (2011) is the only one that passed the one billion mark. Does this mean that we lower the bar? Not necessarily, yet that one billion mark is too visible, too much of an orgasm point for all the wrong people. All whilst there have been a good selection of options out there and they are overlooked. 

I mentioned before that the comic book called The Trigan Empire has every option with a right director to get to the high point, optionally with a blonde John Cena in the title role. They might not make the one billion, but they could make a massive profit, an amount that goes further than merely return on investment. There are so many others. There was Franka, a modern version of Brenda Starr, but with subjects that matter today, options that make women herald this next hero. There have been so many comic books in the 70’s and 80’s, all making a good chance to rake in the revenue and most of them not from the USA.

So why does this matter?
It matters because SKollywood is becoming a thing, because more and more people are accepting movies with subtitles and South Korea is producing more and more movies that are connecting to people, perhaps not in the US, but guess what? Over 2/3 of Hollywood revenue is often international. That Harry Potter movie only made $381M in the US, the rest, almost a billion came from outside the US and Hollywood needs to change steps and up the game because Korea (south part) is bringing people the Witch and more movies that are connecting to people all over the world. A stage Hollywood never considered is now becoming a reality. Who saw the Japanese movie Audition? That was intense stuff. Other movies like Old Boy and the ring found American versions, but non-Americans look at what is. You see we all liked the Departed, but those who saw the original Hong Kong version will find it lacking. Not the actors, not the script, but the original in Hong Kong just had that little more and Korea is producing a whole fleet of movies, as are several other nations. 

All this and then we get to Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus and a whole range of others. Hollywood gets 3500 scripts each year and 350 are being made, so what is failing, because something is, the revenues do not lie. So far this year Avatar 2 and Maverick were the only two movies I ran to a cinema for and that is over the last 20 weeks. The well is drying up and Hollywood needs to set the steps to new heights, because they cannot afford to lose more and as I see it pointing the finger at streamers is not good enough. Japan and South Korea have their share of amazing movies,  so it is not merely the materials. I personally believe that it is the process that is failing. People have the wrong mindset at present. It should not be what gets me the most, it needs to be what can I do to get enough and up the quality of movies, that is the real trick and as far as I can tell, they haven’t figured out how to go about it. My evidence? The Trigan Empire, I made mention of it well over a year ago and since then no one picked it up. Not Netflix, no other streamers and not Hollywood. But I do remember hearing all kinds of complaints that Anansi (American Gods) is too black, or something of that nature. With the quote that “Charles Eglee, thought Mr. Nancy wasn’t right ‘for black America.’” In this I think he should talk to the writer (Neil Gaiman), as we see that it is more and more becoming all about perception the natural outcome is that others will reject what is there and over 65% of the revenue comes outside of the US. 

I let you decide what you watch, it was always your choice, but do you want American gods the way it was written, or what some producer thinks it needs to look like? Perhaps some of them remember the Justice league movie and what happened in the end.

Just food for thought, in the mean time South Korea has a few new gems coming this year. I wonder how far they make it this time, so far their record is pretty impressive. 

Leave a comment

Filed under movies