Category Archives: Random Things of Randomness

Reviewing Lovecraft

Today is Towel Day/Geek Pride Day, so what better day to pen my thoughts on H. P. Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories? I’ve heard a lot about Lovecraft over the years–his work is regarded as classic science fictionbut it wasn’t until recently that I actually got a chance to read him.

After reading him, I can’t help but think he’d be more accurately classified as horror instead of science fiction. Those were some weird stories, y’all. I enjoyed them, but still…that was some of the weirdest writing I’ve ever read. The best way I can describe it is as nightmares made flesh, as if he tapped into the things that terrify us the most and put them in front of us so that we were forced to confront them. I actually felt sorry for the characters; they were full of hopelessness and despair and terror. They were trapped in a world beyond all comprehension and had no chance of escape.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the stories. On the contrary, I can see why he’s so popular (and why Cthulhu is popular, too). And I truly believe Lovecraft had a major impact on the science fiction genre. But, man, stories like “Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family”, “The Rats in the Walls”, and “Nyarlathotep” were some of the weirdest things I’ve ever read.

Is this review coming off as equivocating? I don’t mean it to be. Lovecraft is great; just expect some weirdness if you read him, that’s all.

I think I’ve just succeeded in confusing myself. So here, just enjoy “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish”.

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May the Force be with You in Middle-Earth

It’s Star Wars Day, and I figured I’d do something a little different by going into the similarities between Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings. It’s kind of a running joke in my family that Star Wars is really just The Lord of the Rings in space, and here I shall prove it to the world. Some of these may seem fairly obvious; others may be completely bonkers, but all should be entertaining.

Luke Skywalker = Frodo Baggins

Frodo and Luke

 

Ordinary guy (but with famous relatives) living a pretty ordinary life suddenly finds himself in the middle of a plot that could destroy the world.

Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader = Bilbo Baggins

Darth Vader and Bilbo

First in the family to have epic adventures, is temporarily under the influence of the Dark Lord but fights off the influence and becomes one with the Force/sails to the Grey Havens.

Obi-Wan Kenobi = Gandalf

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Gandalf

The man responsible for seeing both generations off on their respective adventures–also dies and comes back in a more powerful form.

Emperor Palpatine = Sauron

Emperor Palpatine and Sauron

Do I really need to explain this one?

Han Solo = Aragorn

Han Solo and Aragorn

Ruffian who turns out to be a hero.

Princess Leia = Arwen

Princess Leia and Arwen

A princess who always has a plan and is not afraid to make sacrifices for the people closest to her no matter what the personal cost.

C-3PO and R2-D2 = Legolas and Gimli

C-3PO and R2-D2 and Legolas and Gimli

Best friends who are always bickering.

Lando Calrissian = Eomer

Lando Calrissian and Eomer

The friend who shows up in Part II and is crucial to helping win the battle in Part III.

Count Dooku = Saruman

Count Dooku and Saruman

Former good guy who turned traitor. Bonus points for both parts being played by Christopher Lee.

Yoda = Gollum

Yoda and Gollum

Odd-looking creature with a weird speech pattern who shows our hero the way to complete his quest.

I know, I know, I couldn’t find parallels for all of the LotR characters (which makes me sad because I would love to know who Eowyn and Sam are analogous to), but I think these are pretty accurate, nonetheless–and funny, too, which was the whole point behind this post.

Happy Star Wars Day!

 

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Returning Character in “Doctor Who”

The BBC recently announced a humongous return for Doctor Who. Really, this is pretty stupendous, so turn away now if you don’t want to be spoiled!

Still here? Well, you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Per the official BBC website, John Simm will be returning sometime during the tenth season! He will be reprising his incarnation of the Master alongside Michelle Gomez, who plays the female Master regeneration, Missy. This is the first multi-Master story in the show’s history, and it will certainly be exciting to see how the Master reacts to seeing a future version of himself–and his reaction to the fact that future version of himself is a woman. There have been several multi-Doctor stories over the years, so I’m really looking forward to seeing the Master team up with himself (herself?) for the first time.

Stuff like this is so exciting, it’s almost enough to make me forget that we’re losing Peter Capaldi…almost. I was doing so well until I saw this trailer.

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Advice for April Fool’s Day

Trust No One

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April 1, 2017 · 3:49 pm

The 1943 PotO Plot Twist That Almost Happened

As the title should make you realize, we’ve got another Phantom of the Opera post on our hands. Strap yourselves in.

I’ve mentioned before that one of my favorite Phantom adaptations is the 1943 movie with Claude Rains–despite its numerous departures from the book, it still manages to tell a good story (and Claude Rains gave a good performance to boot). But there was one change it almost made that would have drastically altered the story.

To be honest, I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m going to talk about it again. When Universal was first working on this movie, they had the idea to make Erique the long-lost father of Christine. The backstory here was that Erique had abandoned his wife and daughter in order to pursue his dream career as a violinist at the Paris Opera House. Part of him, however, always felt guilty for abandoning his family, and when Christine came to the opera house as a singer, Erique recognized his daughter and sought to help her pursue her dream as a roundabout way of making up for abandoning her as a child. Of course, he had to do this secretly since he couldn’t just go up to her and say, “Hi, I’m the dad who abandoned you and your mother to go off and pursue my selfish desires; sorry about that.” The studio censors ultimately put the nix on that angle because they felt the Phantom’s growing obsession with Christine would start to make the relationship seem more incestuous than paternal.

Here’s the thing, though–if you watch the movie with the view that Erique is Christine’s father, there isn’t anything that really jumps out as incestuous. In fact, there are a few suggestions during the course of the movie that what the Phantom feels for Christine is not romantic at all. He denies to Christine’s tutor that he is secretly paying for her lessons because he is in love with her, and when he’s leading her to the underground lair, he’s speaking as if to soothe a frightened child. When people figured out that Erique was the Phantom, they all assumed that his interest in Christine was due to being obsessively in love with her, but imagine the shock and surprise that would have been on their faces had they learned the Phantom was terrorizing the opera house in order to make his daughter the star he knew she could be.

I think one of the biggest clues they were going to use for this reveal is that Erique knew the lullaby Christine had heard in her childhood. They way they eventually explained it in the movie was that Erique had come from the same area in France as Christine, and lots of people there probably knew that lullaby. I always thought this was a lame explanation, but the writers probably had to come up with something at the last minute after the “I am your father” storyline was retconned.

All in all, I think it was a shame they ultimately didn’t go this route–it definitely would have made for an interesting twist that you don’t see in other Phantom adaptations. And, frankly, they had already deviated so wildly from the book that it wouldn’t have made any difference.

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Wolverine Tribute

This weekend saw the release of Logan, Hugh Jackman’s final appearance as Wolverine. I haven’t seen it yet, but I keep hearing great reviews for it. And I know I’m going to have mixed feelings about it–it’s another Wolverine movie! But it’s the last one with Hugh Jackman! How can this be a good thing?

Either way, I wanted to post this video as a tribute to the irascible mutant even if it’s not a particularly serious video. This was recorded in 2014 when Hugh Jackman visited a radio station to promote X-Men: Days of Future Past. This video was actually what made me decide to look into the X-Men movies, and I am so glad I did.

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Some “Beauty and the Beast” Music

Unless you’ve been living under a very impressive rock, you probably know that the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie is coming out next month. That’s all well and good in itself, but recently my Facebook memories brought the song “If I Can’t Love Her” from the Broadway version back to my mind. Now it’s my understanding that this song won’t be in the movie, which makes me said because it’s an awesome song. So I decided to share it here.

This particular version of “If I Can’t Love Her” is taken from the Beauty and the Beast: A Concert on Ice special from 1996. Personally, I have always thought James Barbour had the perfect voice for the Beast, so I definitely hold a special fondness for any version he performs.

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