Fly casual.

Found this online today:

Even I get boarded sometimes.

God bless the internet.

If you’ve been listening to Greedo Shot First or Time Travel Murder Mystery then you know that I’m definite supporters of Idris Elba as Han Solo (in a remake) or to be involved in some kind of capacity in the new Star Wars.

Podcasts!

In the last episode of Greedo Shot First we discussed the latest rumors about the next episode of Star Wars and then revisited The Phantom Menace, and in the latest episode of TTMM, we talked about the latest episode of Homeland and the end of Veronica Mars‘ second season and after that, Benjie took his pants down and squatted down and took a ripe hot shit on Peter Jackson and The Return Of The King, all in eager anticipation of The Hobbit. You can check out both shows in iTunes, of course.

Greedo Shot First.

So I’ve done a lot of posts here hyping our podcast – Time Travel Murder Mystery – and this post won’t be any different, except I want to talk about how Benjie and I have another podcast that we’re doing, Greedo Shot First.

This is us getting out all of our hardcore old school Star Wars nerdery and kind of bullshitting around with it and looking at the hype and speculation and strangely shaped observances that come with the upcoming Episode VII. I can’t promise that this podcast is any less dorky than other Star Wars podcasts, but I can tell you that ours is far more mean spirited and foul mouthed.

Anyway, I’m especially excited to share with you some art we have for the podcast…

…provided for us by our good friend, Michael Manuel, whom you may or may not have heard of us talk about on the podcast sometimes, usually referred to as “Erotikus.” Mike has sometimes referred to our podcast as being “A Star Wars podcast for people who hate Star Wars fans,” and I think you could say that’s about half right. Anyway. Say hey to Mike and give him money to do art and check out our podcast in iTunes or keep track of it either here, or at the Time Travel Murder Mystery site. May the Force be with you.

Also, big Star Wars news today.

We’re talking about it in the latest Time Travel Murder Mystery episode. In short: We’re excited.

This image is a funny internet joke, but as Benjie Light just pointed out to me, it’s nothing compared to this…

Updated to add: The latest report (as of the day after this big announcement) is that the story will “all original,” whatever the hell that means.

Robin Masters.

A few things:

1. Today at work I endured a conversation with a random stranger about the seminal television program MacGyver. I love MacGyver, but I wouldn’t go back and watch it now if I could. In my memories it’s still great, and I don’t want those memories to be ruined, shattered, broken, rendered meaningless.

This random stranger really enjoyed MacGyver too, but not as much as I do, or did. Her devotion is not as strong as mine, nor her love as pure. Also, she kept saying “Magnum” when she meant “MacGyver.”

2. After she left, my co-worker and I made fun of her in a very subtle way. We started talking about Magnum, P. I. but we kept saying “Matlock.”

3. RIP Andy Griffith.

4. Remember the episode of Magnum, P.I. where he had to tread water in the ocean for, like, forever? Or, at least for near 45 minutes.

Yeah, it was good. At least… that’s how I remember it.

5. Remember the one where he died and was in a coma, more accurately, and was all astral and ghost-like and was floating around and hanging out people and solving a mystery but no one could see him or hear him?

You think I’m joking but that was totally real.

6. Unrelated… This is a picture of a dog and a bunch of tacos:

7. I can’t testify to full and clear total recall of the episodes, but I am positive that I have seen 100% of MacGyver the TV show (and TV movies after the show ended) in my life. I would wager that I have watched 87% of Murder, She Wrote the TV show (and TV movies after the show ended) in my life (some of it, or rather, a lot of it in the past year alone). I have probably watched something like 69% of Magnum, P.I. in my life, including the one where that show and Murder, She Wrote crossed over with each other, which I remember happening but don’t fully remember the details of, much to my chagrin.We’re not even going to waste our time talking about the time that Magnum, P.I. crossed over with Simon & Simon. We’re just not.

If I’m being honest with myself, I’ve probably only seen like 34% of Matlock the TV show in my life.

8. Did you ever watch The Rockford Files? It was good. I like James Garner. He’s one of the older actors that I tend to just like in whatever he’s doing.

He played Phillip Marlowe once. You should watch it. It was a silly movie, but highly underrated. Also, it had a really goofy but not terrible Bruce Lee bit part (and a famous scene) in it.

9. I don’t think that Tom Selleck would’ve made that great of an Indiana Jones.

Or, at least, you can only imagine his Indiana Jones as something so incredibly different from the one we all know and love that it is almost incomprehensible.

10. When I was a kid, my father had a great big mustache and wore a lot of Hawaiian shirts and baseball caps and short shorts.

He made faces like these a lot:

So, clearly, the fictional character of Thomas Magnum was my father’s style icon, right?

That seems weird now but maybe it wasn’t so weird back then. How the fuck should I know.

11. No joke: The Magnum, P.I. theme song has been my ringtone for over a year now. It’s the ringtone for calls from numbers that aren’t already in my address book. It was weird to me, considering that, when I spontaneously found myself in this conversation today at work.

12. Maybe it’s not all that weird.

13. Maybe it was fate?

14. Probably not.

15. T.C. was cool but Rick just seemed like an asshole to me.

16. A few nights ago Benjamin Light and I were talking about the future of our podcast and the caterpillar-like life of our blog and how it’ll soon turn into a beautiful and bewildering butterfly – watch for future announcements – and we were also mutually browsing around the internet, just talking and shitting the breeze and I remember reading somewhere that in other countries there confusions and mistranslations and people assumed that the title of the show was Magnum PI

Get it?

17. Anyway.

What a strange coincidence… The ringtone and the random factoid read about the internet and then the strange occurrence of the spontaneous conversation with a stranger about MacGyver but calling it Magnum and I’m trying to fix the broken web of time and it all leads to a journey down the clips show metaphor that is memory lane for me…

18. Maybe it’s not a coincidence. Maybe it’s just a thing, a thing that happens, and it has no meaning other than that which I assign to it?

19. Perhaps it’s no more important than anything, and not even real. Maybe I’m not real. Maybe I’m me, the me that I think I am and only sometimes comfortable with me. Maybe I’m really Zhuangzi, and I’m dreaming that I’m a butterfly.

20. It’s a bit of a stretch, I know, but my mind is still trudging through similar ditches as we slowly make our way towards the end of this blog. Perhaps I’m dancing around things, then taking a few steps backward before marching forward. The past can be a special place, and an odd place where things have different values and meanings assigned to him. Analyze what you can and appreciate the bizarreness of other things and leave them as they are, unmolested, uncontested. Making peace or at least coming to an understanding with your memories is a kind of time travel, and it’s how some of the best mysteries are solved, but don’t forget: The past can be a grotesque animal and you should always be mindful of how you’ll escape it.

21. Like I said… That’s a bit of a stretch, sure.

Also:

“Father figures” by Kevin Wada. I love it. Except for the KISS parts. Oh well.

22. After this… 82 posts to go.

Can you guess how it’ll end? I have an idea…

23. Maybe like this:

Mad leakage.

Slightly out of context, if there is such a thing as “context” with us, this gave me a good chuckle:

via The Huffington Post (who really just embedded a video, but whateva).

Easter ha ha.

from here and Underpants Jail.

from here.

No hugging, no learning

My first thought, upon walking out of the showing of (500) Day of Summer at the theater, was: Fuck. I wish I’d seen this movie 9 years ago instead of High Fidelity.

High Fidelity

Which is no knock on John Cusack’s last great film. But when Rob asks the question, “What came first, the music or the misery?” we all know what he means. We’ve got 3 generations raised on a shared history of pop songs, rom-coms and happy Hollywood endings. Rob still got his Hollywood Ending, more or less. For High Fidelity, it was daring enough to suggest a happy coupling with no plans of marriage.

500 DaysPoster

(500) Days of Summer is the movie for all those people who didn’t get the happy ending. It’s kind of an anti-romantic comedy, while still suggesting that the idea of romantic happiness isn’t totally absurd, just hard to attain. John Cusack convinced us, a decade ago, that with the right musical tastes, self-deprecation, painful yearning and a timely death in the family, you can, in fact Get Her Back. It made for an enjoyable movie, but did it not make High Fidelity ultimately as culpable as all those thousands of love songs Rob decries? High Fidelity told us what we wanted to hear, but (500) Days of Summer tells us what we need to hear.

Day 488

I’m not spoiling anything by telling you that Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel do not end up together. If they did, there’d be no reason to make this movie. This is a wonderful, charming, devastating, enjoyable movie that cuts very deep into your soul. If you are a man who walks out of this movie without seeing a piece of himself on the screen, then fuck you. This is not a movie of happy banter and meet-cutes, it’s about playing music by a band you know she likes, hoping she’ll notice, and getting nothing. As Chuck Palahniuk once wrote, back when he was good: “The one you love, and the one who loves you, are never, ever the same person.”

Tom and Summer

I could go on and on here, about the way the movie portrays memory in relationships to heighten the good or the bad, depending on mood, but there are other, better reviews written out there. I just wanted to say that I really liked this movie, probably my favorite of the year so far. I mean, what’s not to love about a film where Gordon-Levitt’s Tom Hansen looks at his reflection after nailing Zooey and sees Han Solo winking back at him? If Tom ultimately learns any life lessons, he’s willing to forget them immediately upon meeting a new target of infatuation at the end of the film. And ain’t that how it always goes.

We've all been here.

I’m telling you all this, because I’m going to absolutely bury the next movie I talk about. So don’t say Benjamin Light never liked a good film. I’m not pure hater; I just have standards.

Judd Apatow does not.

The movie review headlines just write themselves

The movie review headlines just write themselves

There a million flaws I could nitpick in Funny People, but I just want to focus on one scene and one joke. They do well enough to illustrate Judd’s complete lack of talent. (Yes, I actually watched this movie. I am a masochist. It’s 2 and half fucking hours long. Seriously)

Adam Sandler’s George Simmons has beaten cancer and gone up to Nor-Cal to steal Leslie Mann away from her husband. Leslie obliges by making George go down on her, then forcing him to watch a home video of her older daughter performing Cats in a school play. George finds it vaguely entertaining in a “youtube unintentional comedy” sort of way, and when Leslie calls him on it later, he’s like look, I’ve been to Broadway, I’ve seen the real Cats.

Leslie Mann glances over at the Hollywood Actor she's cheating on Judd with

Leslie Mann glances over at the Hollywood Actor she's cheating on Judd with

Properly delivered, and with balls, this is a great joke. Comedy is about taking risks, after all. There’s plenty of laughs to be mined in telling someone that their kid is a hack. But here’s the problem: it’s Judd Apatow’s kid. And Leslie Mann is Judd’s wife. If Judd had any balls as a comedian at all, he’d play a joke like this up. But instead, it gets tossed off a signal to the audience that George is To Be Frowned At. Because how could you not like watching Judd’s cute kids in their home videos?

And therein lies the problem with Apatow. Always striving for the sentimental bullshit he didn’t earn. He name-checks Seinfeld, but he’s learned (sic) nothing from Larry David?

The Gold Standard

The Gold Standard

This is also another example of the Peter Jackson corollary: if you feature your kids prominently in more than 100 frames of your movie, you’re a self-indulgent ass. Nobody cares about your wife and kids, Judd. Your movie is an hour too long and real comedians would have taken the piss out of a mom who entertains herself by putting peanut butter on her face for the dog to lick off. There’s actually a whole scene devoted to letting us know that Leslie Mann still fits into her old jeans and has nice abs. Yeah, we get it, Judd. Bully for you. P.S. You’re Jewish? Hoolllly Shit! I never would have known that. You only announce it five times in every one of your movies, as if anyone in 2009 America gives a shit about your religion.

"These two pages are the script, we improv all the unfunny bits."

"These two pages are the script, we improv all the unfunny bits."

It’s nice to see that audiences are finally moving beyond this hackish crap. Which doesn’t mean that Americans are getting less stupid, but even they know to look askance at a movie that calls itself Funny People and delivers ads that are not. $23 million opening for a $75 million budget film? That’ll put the brakes on the Apatow mediocrity train. “The Third Film From Judd Apatow” intones to trailer. Christ, what a prick. Sorry, Judd, but even hiring Speilberg’s D.P. won’t make you a good director.

There is hope. (500) Days of Summer averaged more $$ per screen than Funny People.

There is hope. (500) Days of Summer averaged more $$ per screen than Funny People.

In conclusion: Benjamin Light has been saying that Apatow and Rogen sucked for two years. Nobody wanted to admit it, but now you know. People will call this a “backlash,” when Judd was never very talented to begin with, he just had a knack for hating women and appealing to the mouth-breathing mediocrity of his base. Gravy train’s over, Judd. Go ask the Farrelley’s how the ride back down the hill feels. Counterforce 1, America 0.