Slumdog Millionaire

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If there is one film I would definitely like to see again, it would be Slumdog Millionaire. This was a true treasure of a film and is something that requires a little research to understand. The culture and history of the Indian subcontinent portrayed in this film have been the subject of controversy because some believe it isn’t quite accurate and is being exaggerated (like the issue of poverty in India), while others see this as a way for the country to improve the state of its cities.

Once a sleeper hit in 2008 that wasn’t expected to do much, it went on to win many awards, including eight Academy Awards, one for best motion picture of the year. The film was first shown at a private film festival before being released to the U.K. and elsewhere. As with many of these international films, they don’t usually gain widespread popularity until something big happens, such as winning major awards. I love these kind of films that have very little widespread promotion and go on to become big hits later on. They are instant classics in my mind, one of a kind films that deserve a little more thought and analysis when viewing them.

When I first watched the movie (getting it off a bootleg Internet site), I had no idea the answers to the questions for the eventual Who Wants to be a Millionaire? segment were shown in different scenes of the film. When the quiz show contestant Jamal Malik (played by Dev Patel) got up to the 20 million rupees (US $300,000) question, he was suspected of cheating because no one would have thought a simple “slumdog” would know so much with very little education. He was beaten and tortured by the police and asked how he got the answers. Jamal confesses that his secret to getting so many of the questions correctly was based off his past experiences, such as getting the autograph of a famous Bollywood actor and the death of his mother in the Bombay riots. The police questioning him think this is a ridiculous idea and eventually let him continue playing. He ends up getting to the final question that asks who the third musketeer in The Three Musketeers was. After using his Phone-a-friend (calling his brother Salim in his prison cell), his childhood friend Latika picks up and tries to help him. She doesn’t know the answer so he randomly chooses Aramis, getting the question correct and winning the grand prize of 20 million rupees (the same currency used in the Zelda games).

When watching this film again, I’ll look for those subtle clues that lead up to the ending. It’s quite a far-fetched plot that is used and is quite unbelievable but I still loved the film otherwise.

I have figured that the final question given to Jamal about the musketeers was supposed to be simple enough (even a child could have answered it) in order for the organizers to prove that an uneducated slumdog couldn’t possibility walk away with the big money. They thought he wouldn’t even be smart enough to make it that far, let alone past the first few questions, which is why the questions were set up the way they were, but he proved them all wrong. His winning was all based on a lot of real good luck and being in the right places at the right time, which I see as a rather convenient plot device by the writers, but done in a way so as to amaze the viewers later on.

Millions (of rupees)

100 Years Ago Today

The film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, based on the novel by Jules Verne, was released in 1916, nearly 100 years ago today (officially on December 24, 1916). To compensate for the lack of dialogue in this silent era film, there are facts and pieces of biography scattered in the film. Enjoy the entire 10 minute title in this one post.

 

Rocky Balboa Forever

There once was an underdog boxer named Rocky Balboa. He lived on the streets of Philadelphia among shady individuals, poor as dirt, living in a rundown apartment. Even though he was a pretty good boxer at the local level and had won many fights, nobody took him seriously, calling him a bum and a loser. He even had his locker taken away from him and given to someone else, being ousted from the boxing club because he was no longer needed.

One night while in a pet shop, he met a shy young girl named Adrianna, or Adrian as Rocky preferred to call her (Yo, Adrian!). She was very reluctant of his advances at first and didn’t want to enter his apartment because she didn’t know him very well but they soon hit it off. She was a source of inspiration for Rocky, a hint of light for him to move ahead. Rocky made her more self-confident as well. They shared a long kiss and he no longer felt alone or like a creep anymore.

Then one day Rocky was given the once in a lifetime chance to go up against World Heavyweight Champion Apollo Creed, since he had no other challengers and was giving an unknown the opportunity to shine. This was to be the ultimate David and Goliath match, an upstart nobody against the best of the best. Rocky started training hard day after day for the fight, running through the streets of Philly and up the historic 72 steps, taking to punching huge cuts of raw meat in a freezer room, and working on his footwork with a trainer.

On the other side, the champ Creed was not taking the upcoming fight seriously, not even training himself. To him, this was a charity event for the fans and he doubted it would go on for more than 3 rounds. And when the night of the fight finally arrived, he showed up dressed like Uncle Sam, taking this matter as a joke, teasing and taunting Rocky. But that was not to be the case. After the Italian Stallion knocked Apollo to the ground to the audience’s surprise, the first time in the champ’s career, the fight became serious. It went the whole 15 rounds, Rocky falling down once and the fight looking like it may had been over. Cocky Apollo started waving his arms in the air, celebrating early. Rocky stumbled back to his feet, vowing to “go the distance”, to Apollo’s amazement. The fight continued, both men jabbing and beating each other up some more, Rocky too tired to defend himself with his fists, taking shots to the face. His nose was broken for the first time in his career, blood dripping. There was no way either of these competitors were going to just give up.

And finally the bell to end the fight rang. The judges called it a split decision. Adrian raced into the ring and embraced her lover in a hug, telling that she loved him. Could Rocky win the decision and become a national hero? Would the Cinderella story end happily?

Amidst the roar and cheering of the crowd, the deciding judge’s voice was barely audible:

“And the winner of the fight by a split decision is…Apollo Creed!”

Rocky was the bridesmaid again. He didn’t want a rematch, said he was tired of taking shots to the face. He went on to marry Adrian and had a son named Rocky Balboa, Jr. He gained the respect of his community and the boxing world.

And all was well with the world – his world.

I just watched this film tonight for the first time in a long while. I picked up on minor details and plot points that I missed the first time around. This movie is similar to Cinderella Man, I’ve come to realize, not that the 2005 film is a ripoff but is inspired by Rocky in a number of ways. The following movies in the Rocky series seem to follow a pattern: Rocky is on top on the world and then Rocky is fighting to get his “eye of the tiger” back.

Overall, I give the first installment in the Rocky Series an 8/10.

No Cliffhangers

Deadpool: Something Different

I think we can officially say that a previously underrated superhero has put himself firmly on the map.

That leather looking spandex was sure used comically.

Okay, so fans of the original Deadpool (Wade Wilson) will surely hate this movie because it’s not true to the comics. Deadpool was played up to be a silly and ridiculous character who told sex jokes and was a jerk to everybody. Diehard Deadpool fans would have liked to see a more serious and traditional story of an ordinary man turned extraordinary, but this has an edge to it. It’s entertaining with the right amount of dirtiness and violence that makes it anything but another bland and boring superhero flick.

My honest opinion of the movie: it was awesome in every way. I just watched it for the second time tonight and was blown away. The acting is superb and the action is spot on. There was never a dull moment. Ryan Reynolds, God’s perfect idiot, has the look and charm to command a powerful leading role. Morena Baccarin was more than just the pretty face in this film and had some tenacity, such as when she punched the long bearded biker in the tender zone when he tried to hit on her. That Sinead O’Connor look a like named Negasonic Teenage Warhead (best name ever) played her part great as the sidekick and offered some funny moments. The humor is never ending and mixes well with some perfectly timed serious moments, such as the fight in the fire that proves Mr. Pool is truly invincible. Deadpool is definitely a breakout hit of 2016 so far. “It’s a game changer” states the movie poster. That it definitely was. This isn’t your daddy’s superhero movie. The excellent delivery of Reynolds and his breaking the fourth wall give this film an extra appeal.

The movie starts out with some early exposition of Deadpool being involved in a car wreck on a bridge. This scene happens at the end of the movie but the director decided to give us an early glimpse of what’s to come. His girlfriend, Vanessa Carlysle, played by Morena Baccarin, is kidnapped by Deadpool’s arch enemy Ajax played by Ed Skrein. Deadpool’s main objective is to get back at this man who left him horribly disfigured. The climatic battle at the end of the movie is slowly revealed in pieces throughout with X-Men members Colossus and Negasonic being introduced, who were trying to recruit him to join the team (maybe he will in Deadpool 2?) Did I mention that this is also the eighth installment in the X-Men franchise? That I did not realize until doing some research.

The movie then dives into the origins of Deadpool, starting with his wild lifestyle as a mercenary in New York and the “Dead Pool” game of betting on targets to kill. He proposes to his longtime love Vanessa but after she accepts he suddenly faints. Shortly after, Wade is diagnosed with terminal cancer and is told he doesn’t have much time to live. He is then approached by a special team that says they have a way to cure his cancer and give him superhuman abilities. After he leaves Vanessa for this project, she moves on with her life knowing that Wade will eventually pass away.

In the laboratory, Wade meets Ajax and Angel Dust, two members of the Weapons X special operative. Ajax gives him a serum that will cure his cancer with the catch being that he will have to become a mutant for it work. He is put through a series of stress tests in order for the mutation to awaken, but which fails. Wade is then locked in an oxygen chamber and develops the mutant gene to cure his cancer – but here’s a surprise: Ajax abruptly cuts off the oxygen and subjects Wade to total asphyxiation. He is cured of his cancer but as a side effect contracts a case of Freddy Kreuger skin with his new abilities. Wade eventually escapes from the chamber by lighting a match and blowing up the lab, getting into a fiery battle with Ajax who impales him, leaving him for dead. With his immortality, Wade survives this and sets off to find and kill Ajax.

Unable to walk around normally in public without being stared at, Wade creates the Deadpool suit and persona. His mission as the New York mercenary turned Deadpool badass is to track down Ajax, kill him, and win his love back. It’s a reversal of roles. The man is the damsel in distress this time, not the woman.

The thrilling ending battle sees Deadpool kill everyone but Ajax, demanding a cure for his impairment but is told that it isn’t possible. Deadpool kills Ajax and eventually reconnects with his girlfriend. He reveals his mangled face to her and it is concluded that she still loves him despite his flaws (on the inside and out) and they share a long embrace with Wham’s “I’m Never Gonna Dance Again” playing on Deadpool’s iPhone.

Overall I’d give this movie a 7/10. It’s got everything you want in a superhero movie and more. Some of the jokes are ill advised and some scenes are over the top but it was a pretty spectacular popcorn flick. This is not a kid’s movie but kids would find it enjoyable. It’s not going to win any major awards but you can expect it to be one that can watched repeatably because of all the memorable scenes, that save it from being mediocre. Definitely one of Ryan Reynold’s best films so far.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this movie was great from beginning to finish. It instantly catches your interest with the freeze framed airborne car scene set to Juice Newton’s “Angel of the Morning”. But I’m just begging to wonder how Wade Wilson suddenly found the skills to craft his intricate Deadpool suit overnight.

The bonus scene at the end of the movie is a reference to the one used in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, another thing that I failed to realize until later.

How incredibly inventive of the writers. This was quite an original movie by director Tim Miller. I had a far better time critiquing this film than the first time I watched it because of things being far more clearer to me.

The Force Awakens Review

The moment we’ve been waiting for since it was announced in 2012 has finally arrived…and with a bang. Did it live up to the high expectations? Read on and find out.

I got to be one of the early ones to see Star Wars because of holding tickets to a special pre-screening show. Surprisingly, more people than I expected showed up to this event so they must have all been in on the gameplan. People came dressed in their Jedi robes and stormtrooper suits. A bucket of popcorn cost over six dollars, almost as much as a single ticket. Ridiculous, but the bills have to be paid somehow.

These review will avoid spoilers at all costs and will instead focus on the good and bad aspects of the film.

First off, the movie was incredible, hitting every note perfectly. The explosions were powerful, the sound was electrifying.  J.J. Abrams used those three years (the typical number of years between films) making this film wonderfully. He did not disappoint. Being passed the torch from George Lucas as director of his beloved creation is a serious responsibility and Abrams handled it well. He didn’t try to change too much in this movie (keeping the iconic title intro, music, and “Windows Movie Maker” transitions) to keep it in consistency with the films before it, but did add his own personal touches to make it look newer.

BB-8 was the most adorable droid of any Star Wars film, rolling around like a ball and making cute sounds. But it was not just there for laughs and cries, it had a pivotal role in the story, containing clues to something really important.

There were a few, however, things I didn’t like about the film:

  • Having about the same plot as Episode IV
  • Not developing the characters very well
  • No chemistry between Finn and Rey
  • Too many battle scenes and not enough downtime with humor or any iconic moments. Actually, there weren’t any moments that really stand out in my mind. The movie was just one long noisefest.
  • Han and Chewbacca seemed to be thrown into the film at the last minute

It was the first time I’d seen a Star Wars installment in theaters. The last time it graced the silver screen for Revenge of the Sith, I was a little more than 14 years old. I wasn’t at all into Star Wars back then, only being vaguely familiar with the characters of Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, not knowing they were related, and not giving the saga much thought. I just watched all six films for the first time last year and finally figured out that there was a man behind the Darth Vader mask. Somehow, that took away the mystique about the whole character for me. Knowing now that it was just a man in a suit didn’t exactly strike fear in me anymore. But basically, he is man and machine united together, but without knowing it’s a man, the character takes on a much sinister role, doesn’t seem so fake – and silly. Yup, ever since I saw Anakin Skywalker turn into Vader, I’ve had a hard time believing it was still the same mythical, scary villian as before. Maybe it was because the one who played Anakin, Hayden Christiansen, wasn’t very believable in his transformation over to the dark side. It seemed so forced and unnatural and the fight between Obi-Wan and Anakin not justified enough.

The Force Awakens awoke all of our inner science fiction interests, resurrecting a franchise that, for a while, was beginning to live off of its past and rely on video games, books, and other merchandise to keep it alive. It really tells you about the legacy of a film franchise when after almost 40 years, new and old fans are turning out to see their favorite heroes once more and get to know new ones as well.

Episode VIII is set to be released in May of 2017, Episode IX in 2019. I’m eager to see where this new trilogy goes and how the future of the Star Wars universe plays out. In my own mind, I can only believe that the plot ideas will be more or less the same as previous films (like blowing up the Death Star again in The Force Awakens). The excitement and anticipation will still be as high as ever, but there does come a time when things start getting a little long in the tooth. Which is why having two different directors on the next two films will prevent stale ideas from happening. It’s going to be fun the next five or so years. The Star Wars fandom machine is officially at full power again.

As for that triple lightsaber, called a crossguard lightsaber, well, let’s just say it’s more than just for show but can do some serious damage at close range.

 

Back to the Basics

An Amazon.com review on the remastered Star Wars saga collection, “written to” creator George Lucas.

George,

I appreciate your attempt to clean up matte lines, wonky lightsabers, and improve sound and picture quality in your Blu-ray release.

However, I don’t understand why you want to make jarring changes to your characters that make once powerful cinematic moments now creepy or distracting.

A lot of people have made the case for Han shooting first (as in the theatrical cut) in Episode IV being a much more interesting and accurate characterization, so I’m not going to touch that.

This review is going to be principally about the changes you made to scenes with me in it.

For instance, in the original cut, when I throw Emperor Palpatine down the death star’s reactor shaft, there is a moment of silent deliberation where, oscillating my expressionless masked face back and forth, I decide whether or not to sacrifice my life for the life of my son. The lack of dialogue allows the viewer to read more subtlety and indecisiveness into this act, and the silence is truer to my character’s previous dialogue in films IV-VI.

In this release, you decided to have me scream “NO! NOOOOO!” at the very beginning of the scene, removing any of the subtlety or conflict, inserting a goofy, lamely comic line not befitting of my badassness, and consequently dulling the emotional significance of a father’s redemptive sacrifice of his son.

What’s worse, you replace Sebastian Shaw’s peaceful and redeemed ghostly image on Endor with Hayden Christiansen’s garish, creepy, pedophile-like smirk.

Not only does this not make any sense, because the last time I was alive (on the Light or the Dark side) I looked like Sebastian Shaw, and Obi-Wan and Yoda’s ghosts look exactly as they did before they died… but again, Hayden’s horrible acting and the visual unevenness of the three actors blunt what could have been a great, emotionally significant scene.

The scene starts great with Mark Hamill’s excellent contemplative stare, coupled with peaceful acting from Sir Alec Guinness, but it ends with Hayden Christiansen’s disgusting smirk, ruining what was one of the emotional high points and one of the key resolutions of the trilogy.

I keep trying to Skype you – please pick up so I can force choke you and prevent you from making any more changes to your movies.

Sincerely,
Darth Vader (acting as)

If I could be the possessor of a time machine, I would go back and stop George Lucas from changing the movies or even better, prevent the script writers from including Jar Jar Binks in the prequel trilogy, just to end all of the heated, pointless online discussions and make the first film a little more likable.

Let’s go back to the Star Wars that people living in the seventies used to know. Where Han always shot first. I could care less about it all but the geek fandom tends to pay close attention to every detail in these films. That’s what makes this franchise so endearing and captivating.


In Response to the Daily Prompt: Pick-Your-Gadget

Your local electronics store has just started selling time machines, anywhere doors, and invisibility helmets. You can only afford one. Which of these do you buy, and why?

 

The Final Countdown

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They’re here…

Tickets to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Two tickets, one for Uncle J and I.

A pre-screening before the film actually releases to the public on December 18th. Exclusive stuff.

For the first time in my life, I’ll be seeing a film in its red zone, that is when it’s at its hottest point at the box office and people are dying to go see it in theaters during the first week. And my suspicions were right about getting tickets early online because when I got mine today from the ticket girl, she said two theaters in the area had already been sold out with only about 45 admit ones remaining. Most likely less now as I write this. That’s popular.

I’m silently getting excited, so much that I want to watch all six films again, in order this time. I’m not the biggest Star Wars fan, but this is one movie I definitely want to be apart of, along with die-hard geeks and religious fanatics. I’m going to see the film, but I don’t know if I’ll go as far as getting into cosplay and really living the experience.

I can’t believe the time has finally come. I remember first hearing about the movie in 2012 when Disney bought Lucasfilm for a whopping 4.5 billion (does someone sign a check or something?) and shook the Internet to its breaking point. I, like many people, was initially critical of the decision, joking that Star Wars was going to turn into a really sanitized family flick with Disney cliché all around. I even made a video on ten reasons why Disney would fail with Star Wars, such as having storm troopers with Mickey Mouse ears and having Jar Jar moving to the Dark Side – so wrong on so many levels that I’m embarrassed to even feature it here. But when J.J. Abrams of Lost fame was announced as the director, my approval rating shot straight up with the cool sound effect of a lightsaber.

Now 2015 has arrived and the skepticism is long gone and excitement and rumor is peaking, especially with the sneak peek of the cross-shaped lightsaber being wielded by a new character named Kylo Ren, who may or may not be the successor to Darth Vader.

These are the kind of moments I love to blog about. Pop cultural things that are relevant to the world. Fun stuff that I’m interested in and can explore further in other places. Having original pictures to go along with my posts is also what makes my blogging experience worthwhile.

45 more days until new and old fans go nuts, and I’ll be one of the first to the starting line. Does it really matter though, who is first? No, but bragging rights are bragging rights and I can always put down in my memoir that I was one of the first for something.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Million-Dollar Question.”

Why do you blog?

Because I’m allowed to under the first amendment, simply put. Getting thoughts out of my head and into words is also great therapy for me. If I get it off my mind and into my blog, it won’t worry me anymore.

Moving Forward

Head to one of your favorite blogs. Write a companion piece to their penultimate post.

I wasn’t going to do this but I ultimately decided it was important.

As we get older, we realize some things just aren’t the same anymore. The kids get younger and the trends that once were popular in our day have suddenly died out, paving way for the next best thing. When sports start featuring kids from the 90s, and eventually 2000s, you know there is no where to go but up – or forward. The athletes you looked up to as a kid suddenly are younger than you.

There becomes a disconnect between generations and understanding. You don’t know where to turn and really don’t know know how to fit in with the new wave. A certain bit of jealously comes along the way as well, such as wanting to be back in school again and relearning all the things that were so fun.

But getting older has its advantages. You have more opportunities and freedoms in the world. There’s more respect. Can drink and gamble – responsibly. Get into any kind of film you choose; of course, I was already watching adult movies before I turned 18 and had had my share of magazines.

At what point do birthdays become as pointless and boring as soup? At what point do you just want to freeze time or start going backwards. I’d say it would be when you reach middle age and life seems to have gotten stuck in neutral. When it is no longer cool to act like a kid and society would think you’re short a few screws.

Everything moves forward…

A new batch of kids are going to see Star Wars for the first time when it comes out on December 18. The seventh major film in the megabillion dollar franchise comes out during one of the most social periods in human history. The last film in 2005 didn’t have the luxuries of multiple ways of sharing content online with just the click of a button. If I wanted to see the trailer for Phantom of the Menace in 1999, I’d have to either wait for it to appear on TV or get a sneak peak of it before a feature film in the theater.

The film is obviously going to be a smash hit and most will likely shatter box office records within a day, no matter what the critics think. I have already pre-ordered tickets from Fandango for a December 17 screening, citing the thought that it will be hard to get tickets when the film is released. The film comes out on the 18th, so this must be a special pre-screening for a limited number of individuals. Lucky me will get to be one of the first to see the anticipated film, but will have to keep quiet for one day so not to spoil the fun for those fans who have been waiting three long years since Disney met George. This will be the first time a Star Wars film comes out where I am familiar with the story, having just recently watched all six films, and am actually mildly interested in seeing one.

Here is the amazing trailer:

Many despise having any more films after the original trilogy because of the story being wrapped up so nicely in Return of the Jedi. But money speaks loudly, especially in the brain dead creative space of Hollywood that definitely is in love with sequels. Do we really need a Toy Story 4? A Woody and Bo Peep love story, are you kidding me? What’s next, Woody finding out Bo is having an affair with Hamm? I believe this beloved franchise should be put to rest before it is exhausted to death.

One of my favorite bloggers, Insach, had his birthday a few days ago and I decided to expand upon his post about changes.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Companionable.”

Epic Pop Culture Battles

Time for a classic “who would win in a fight?” post.

I’m taking a series of characters, fictional or non-fictional, from books, TV shows, movies, or real life, and pitting them against each other. Doesn’t matter if the match-ups are totally nonsensical. From a box of random names I wrote down on slips of paper, I pulled out some interesting match-ups. There are some videos on the Internet that do the talking for some, while others are too far out in left field for visual description.

Indiana Jones vs. Zombies

Indiana might survive a fight against zombies for a while, but after he runs out of bullets, the undead would swarm him, his rope proving no use. Of course, what do I know? I’ve never even watched any Indiana Jones movies, but this seems like a no-brainer.

Mario vs. Harry Potter

Mario is much faster and nimble than Harry and doesn’t need long winded spells to attack. He can jump high, shoot fireballs, go down pipes, and turn into Super Mario. And Mario can’t be hurt by spells because he’s animated and has no blood (or so I think). But, as this attempt at a good descriptive video shows, all Harry has to do is turn Mario into a rat and he wins.

Walter White vs. Luke Skywalker

The only things saving Walter White in this battle is his “crazy handful of nothin” explosive mixture and his mad meth making skills (might be able to impress Luke with the blue stuff). Without a light saber to match Luke, he’ll be like the pizza on the roof, flat and roasted. Though, Walter could still run Skywalker over with his Winnebago 😀

Voldemort vs. Bill Gates

Avada Kevadra! Done. Voldemort wins. That’s with a silent “t”, by the way. Unless Bill Gates pays off Voldemort with his money or finds a way to reprogram him, this will be over quick. But I hear that Bill got an intern to do the fight for him, since he’s Bill Gates and can do that. Or he cloned himself. Or replaced himself with Mark Zuckerberg. Voldemort can’t be killed unless all of his horcruxes are found and destroyed so this battle depends on when it is happening in the Harry Potter timeline: at the very end or somewhere in the middle. The wonders a random draw from a box can do.

Batman vs. Superman

And what do you know, a feature film pitting these iconic superheroes against each other is coming out. I have no idea what’s going to happen in the movie, but I believe Superman would win in a fight because he’s got more superpowers.

Here’s the trailer for the movie coming out in 2016:

Rick Grimes vs. Frodo

Seriously? Rick Grimes would totally kick Frodo’s Hobbit butt. The only defense Frodo has is the ring that makes him invisible and sends him into another dimension. Rick’s got tons of ammunition and an entire world of walkers on his side.

Scooby-Doo vs. Spongebob Squarepants

So an animated dog against an animated spongeguy? Tell me how this makes no sense. I suppose if it was happening on land, the dog would win because Spongebob would dry out, while in the water Spongebob would win because dogs can’t breath underwater. But in terms of which character is better, I would go with Spongebob because at least he’s the main character in the show and can speak regular English.

Spider-man vs. a cow

Spider-man wins in a dance off. Nuff said.

Sherlock Holmes vs. Dr. Who

I don’t think this battle could ever be won. Both of these men are as smart, witty, and just plain awesome as the other.  I guess a humorous video will solve things – or not.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Worlds Colliding.”

Take two main characters from two different books works of art (either fiction or nonfiction) and introduce them to, or have them meet, each other. What would happen next?

The Titanic Sails Again

On the set of James Cameron’s 1997 romantic disaster film Titanic, I presented the beginnings of an alternate script I had worked up overnight. The director looked at it as if it were ridiculous, for which is was, but read it anyway:

A person from 2015 builds his own time machine and sets the date to April 12, 1912, the date of the Titanic’s maiden voyage. Of course, the guy has to look the part, so he researches and looks for clothes from the early 1900s, and is dressed like a dignified Englishman in time to arrive on the dock at Southampton. He even has an authentic ticket produced to reside in first class, for which he certainly is not of, but no one would be able to prove it otherwise.

Narration from the time traveler:

It was one of the most glorious and grandest ships in the world, and in early 1912, I was aboard it. The RMS Titanic, set to embark on a voyage to America. I was to reside in the bottom dorms of the ship, known as steerage, after mistakenly having a third class ticket produced, getting on with just one suitcase and trying to not act too modern (there was a smartphone in my backpocket for taking pictures and maybe wowing the passengers later on).

While walking the deck, I met a friend named Jack Dawson who was an excellent artist. He showed me some of his paintings, including those of women he met in Paris, many of them nude. Instead of waiting for the right moment, I warned him right there that the ship was to sink on its third day. He looked at me in disbelief and laughed and said I was crazy. “What makes you think that?”, he asked. “This is the best ship in the world. It can’t sink!”

“I can assure you that this ship is not built to withstand even a mild collision,” I replied and added, “you all are ignorant of the fact that sailing out on the Atlantic Ocean into the night is as dangerous as ever with communication so far away.”

“You all know that this ship is going to sink?”, Jack later asked during his dinner with Rose and her rich royalty, frightening everyone.

“What makes you think that?”, asked Cal with skepticism. “A friend told me. He says he’s from the future.” Of course, they all looked shocked at this statement.

“From the future? And you believe him?,” Cal said, casting a sideways glance at the person seated next to him, who too couldn’t believe this, his moustache twitching nervously.

“Well, if it means saving all our lives, I would say so.” They all just shrugged and dismissed all of the foolishness Jack said during the rest of the dinner as “hogwash”.

But after notifying the crew, they promptly took my advice to prepare for the worst, even getting a call out to another ship to come to their rescue if needed.

And just as it was to happen, the look out crew spotted the deadly iceberg on the chilly night of the 15th and had enough time to maneuver the ship past it after knowing about it far in advance. They, Jack and Rose, and some of the other passengers, including first class, all looked at me in astonishment. Some thanked me graciously, some patted me on the back, some looked at me as if I was an alien from another world, even if I was dressed like them.

“Is there anything else you know about the future?”, the Captain asked. “Of course. I’m from it,” I said and then added, “You guys really need to learn about Facebook.” And with that, I pulled out my smartphone and took a selfie with me and the Captain together, who looked at the device curiously.

So now the ship has been saved and history changed:

Jack lived and went on to marry Rose in America, raising a family in a Wisconsin log cabin. Cal was thrown in prison for attempting to murder Jack, eventually committing suicide by hanging himself. The Titanic went on a second voyage back to England in 1913, not avoiding the iceberg this time, as fate was angry and sprouted up an array of iceberg blockages. The ship hit one of the blockages head on though and survived the impact, the operators taking my advice to do so. A fire eventually broke out in the boiler-room, damaging but not sinking the ship in 1914. Instead of James Cameron’s movie being about the disaster of the Titanic, it was about a time traveler who goes back to warn the passengers and does the incredible. And about a ship that is cursed and narrowly avoids disaster every time it sails.

“Okay, this sounds great and all, but I’m not producing sci-fi here,” James Cameron said to me. “Please take your script somewhere else, maybe to Joss Whedon or Steven Spielberg.”

And so I did, and way and behold, Spielberg loved it so much (I think he was drinking something) that I worked on the script some more, working it into an official full length script. The movie was produced and was officially named “Back to the Future: Part IV: Saving the Titanic”. Michael J. Fox was even so excited that he agreed to reprise his role as Marty, his illness seeming to be magically cured. Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown even suggested turning the ship into a time machine boat.

And then I woke up. All just a dream.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fourth Wall.”

You get to spend a day inside your favorite movie. Tell us which one it is — and what happens to you while you’re there.