Darth Vader

coming to america club

Despite its arrival two years after the surprise success of ‘Crocodile’ Dundee, the similarly premised Coming to America hardly seemed like a knockoff. Sure it is also about a strange foreigner who visits New York City and experiences a comical culture clash, but the 1980s were actually so full of movies of this nature (see also Moscow on the Hudson, Splash, Brother From Another Planet, Big Business, both The Muppets and Jason Take Manhattan and maybe even Big, which along with ‘Crocodile’ Dundee II had just recently come out ahead of this), so it wasn’t a big deal. Besides, with Eddie Murphy at the peak of his career at the time there was no way this thing could fail. This weekend is the 25th anniversary of the release of Coming to America (specifically yesterday), and although a lot of obvious parts are dated (some of which actually make the movie funnier now), it remains a rather timeless metropolitan fairy tale. It’s still one of the top three Murphy comedies (the other two being Trading Places and Beverly Hills Cop, of course), features some amazing make-up work by Rick Baker that would be still be worthy of its Oscar nomination if done today, excellent African dance choreography from little known Paula Abdul and in recent years it provided tons more laughs via the meme in which any dialogue spoken by James Earl Jones is dubbed over scenes of Darth Vader. As ripe as the plot would seem for a remake, hopefully it […]

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Boiling Point

Some big time shows are finally back on the air and with them has come an air of excitement and, of course, the urge to share your opinion of what happened with everyone in the entire world, because you have something of value to offer. Like a 140 character recap of what happened! You should be a writer. I am smiling so smugly right now. For better or worse (definitely worse), Twitter and Facebook are things that are going to stick around. Whether or not we even like them, we use them. They’re how we connect with friends both close and distant and they keep us abreast (a breast, hahahahaha) of what’s currently going on in the world, like why you hate waking up, how bad your dog’s fart smells, what you ate for lunch, and that question you have that you typed into Twitter instead of Google. Unfortunately, one of the things that goes on is television. And movies. On different timetables. We all get excited about entertainment, that’s why we’re here together on this site right now. But I think we can all agree that spoiling stuff makes you a dick. So here’s the thing about tweeting television….

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It seems that when it comes to tales of good and evil – we often see anything besides good winning and evil losing as some kind of a cop out. Like… we’d rather see the villain fall to their death or be eaten by hyenas than learn the error of their ways -something that’s more than evident in Disney films, which have featured both killer hyenas and high places. But, you know – when a bad guy ultimately turns good, if done right, it’s way better to watch. More often than not they still usually end up dying horrible, so there’s that too, but at least they die good. There’s probably going to be a lot of spoilers below.

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Boiling Point

This article has changed three times since I even started thinking about it. It began as a simple rant about prequels, but when my first example focused on Star Wars ran several hundred words, I then decided to focus on that. When that ran for over a thousand words before moving even half-way into my second point, I decided to scale that back a bit too and just focus on what I call the “timeline crunch” of the prequels. The movies are coming back to theaters in 3D, so it’s kind of topical and I’m allowed to write whatever the hell I want, so how about you spend a few minutes listening to me rant about perhaps one of the smallest flaws of the prequels, but a flaw that has bothered me to no end for years.

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Culture Warrior

Last week, we explored the concept of shoving products into movies, but there’s an equal and opposite marketing method where movies are shoved into product commercials – especially if the character is an iconic one. There’s a distinction to be made here about the difference between celebrities endorsing colognes and fictional characters doing it, although the line can definitely be blurred. Movie star endorsements are as old as the medium, whether it’s Buster Keaton slugging out the chalk for Simon Pure Beer, Charles Bronson going overboard with his self-sprinkling of Mandom, Arnold Schwarzenegger scream-laughing for a Japanese energy drink, or Abraham Lincoln selling us churros. And that doesn’t include all the normal, run-of-the-mill advertising where an actress loves a brand of make-up or a wrestler loves beef jerky. A human being selling out is one thing, but there’s something especially heinous about a character being used to market a product because it’s an element of art forced into a square hole of commercialism. Oftentimes its done without the creator’s consent (or consent is contractually taken away from the starting block). In most cases, the original actor doesn’t even have to be involved (for better or worse), especially if there’s a costume involved. In its rawest form, it’s the uglification of something we love. This list is light-years away from being complete, but it hopefully shows a well-rounded view of different types of movie characters in commercials throughout a few different time periods.

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Another week, another introduction mentioning Christmas: after all, this week has seen the official unveiling of Christmas 2011 with the addition of Christmas decorations to the Disney Store’s online catalogue (that’s the actual scientifically proved start of the Christmas period, you see), and I’ll be damned if I let that one fly without a mention. Anyway, back to the serious business of movie merchandise, and three fairly light-hearted, but no less essential picks, with yet another beyond-awesome creation by Japan’s inimitable Medicom Toy company, some shoes bearing the face of the greatest movie villain of all time (no, sadly not Ballbricker from Porky’s), and baby clothes. Don’t judge me, I’m broody. For no reason at all, here’s a column dedicated disproportionately to Disney.

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“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” On a desert planet on the far edges of the galaxy, a young farm-boy named Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) dreams of leaving his meager existence behind to join the Rebellion against the evil Galactic Empire.  When his uncle, a humble moisture farmer, purchases two unassuming droids that carry coveted secret Imperial data for a titanic space station, Luke finds himself thrust into the war much sooner than expected. Together with the reclusive Jedi, Obi-wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness), an elderly warrior who used to be one of many guardians of peace in the galaxy, Luke sets out on a quest to deliver the plans to the Rebellion, learning more about the father he never knew, his inherent ability to control the Force, the mystical energy that gives all Jedi their supernatural abilities, and encountering a motley crew of characters along the way including the displaced Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher),  self-serving smuggler Han Solo (Harrison Ford), his 7-foot tall furry co-pilot Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), and master of the Dark Side of the Force, Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones).

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Sideshow Collectibles at Comic-Con

While much of the FSR staff was in sunny San Diego for Comic-Con 2008, our own Jason Dorough was sitting at home salivating over the collectibles announcements. Here is what really caught his eye.

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Officially Cool

Here’s another t-shirt that is officially cool…and officially wrong. Darth Vader is, in fact, someone’s father.

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Officially Cool

I always love a cool desktop for my macbook or my iPhone. Here are some for the movie-lovers out there…

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Leave George Lucas alone!

Here’s where I defend Lucas. He’s doing what he wants to do. Period. He can self-finance a $200 million movie and not bat an eye. He is the true embodiment of the independent filmmaker.

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Officially Cool

I have officially found the least expensive Star Wars collectibles of all time. Over at Heffernan’s Little Craft Shop you can purchase soap molded in the shape of some of your favorite Star Wars characters. I don’t think that the Heffernans are big Star Wars fans themselves though, because who the hell is Dark Vader?

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Officially Cool

Taking Daniel Day-Lewis’ dialog and setting over scenes from Star Wars, one youtuber gave us another villain to fear, Darth Plainview.

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Officially Cool Showdown: Han Solo vs. Indiana Jones

This should be a college course or something. Iconic Film Badassery 101 perhaps? From their sidekicks to their leading ladies, we look at who may or may not be the winner should it come to fisticuffs.

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Officially Cool

Words really can’t describe how cool these are, but hey…that’s why I have included a ton of pictures.

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oc-paperyoda.jpg

This image comes from a Danish website. No big deal though, because this is cool in any language.

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oc-pinkvader.jpg

If you have a bumper sticker that says something like “My other ride is the USS Enterprise” or own a pair of Vulcan ears, then we have just found a photo that is sure to brighten your day.

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Nothing screams cool like everything from the Star Wars franchise, especially to those of us who were never associated with the word “cool” based on our love of said franchise.

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Soul Caliber is one of the most badass fighting games to ever hit consoles. There has been cameo’s by non-original Soul Caliber characters in the past, such as Spawn and Zelda’s Link, but those cameos are nothing compared to who you will get to see in Soul Caliber IV.

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I guess slaughtering Jedi and turning a galactic republic into an oppressive empire isn’t nearly as bad as partying in L.A. hot spots without panties or violating driving probation.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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