Welcome To New Asgard!
“Move aside, there, Lebowski!” – Tony Stark.
Thor: “Do you know what is coursing through my veins right now?”
James Rhodes: “Cheez Whiz?”
WARNING: THIS ARTICLE MAY CONTAIN POTENTIAL SPOILERS
“This is the Asgardian refugee vessel Statesman. We are under assault! I repeat, we are under assault. The engines are dead, life support failing. Requesting aid from any vessel within range. We are 22 jump points out of Asgard. Our crew is made up of Asgardian families. We have very few soldiers here. This is not a warcraft. I repeat, this is not a warcraft!”
Accompanied by such a moody score from Alan Silvestri, wow, methinks, this IS already turning out to be a masterpiece. And we haven’t even got past the MARVEL STUD10S logo yet(!)
After 59 viewings of this movie, it’s still unbelievable as to how all narrative threads of Avengers: Infinity War link up so effectively.
So it was MARVELous news to learn that Avengers: Endgame will once again be written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and directed by those groovy fellas: the Russo Brothers – arguably the ideal creative team for such a Mad Titan-sized project.
Naturally, the chances of the Russo Brothers revealing ANY plot-point is – as you would expect – as unlikely as Brad having any chance of ever managing to lift Mjolnir.
That’s fine. Chris Evans summed it up perfectly: “Marvel really wants to make sure that their stuff is the way movies used to be,” he said, when interviewed on the Infinity War set. “It used to be that the first you heard of a movie was the trailer. You know what I mean…? It was all discovery and mystery and reveals. That was the fun of movies for me, at least as a kid. So I think Marvel does a good job of prioritising that.”
Such was the almost-insane level of security, Chris was one of the few members of the gargantuan cast to receive a COMPLETE script. Printouts of each day’s dialogue had to be shredded straight after use; fake scenes were even written just to bamboozle potential party-poopers; and when it came to the Big Twist (i.e. half of the cast being written out) those closing moments were NEVER written anyway.
The production team had to go break it, verbally, to that unlucky 50%, that the big purple guy had WON…
“Chin there, done that…”
“It was very flattering,” Anthony Russo explained, reacting to news that the once-in-a-generation stunning climax to Infinity War has been described as the 21st century’s equivalent of The Empire Strikes Back’s cliffhanger. “We were diehard fans of Empire Strikes Back. It’s our favourite Star Wars movie.”
You see?! TOLD YOU they were groovy fellas 😉
Empire’s iconic twist had a profound effect on them – especially the moment in which Lord Vader lops Luke’s hand off. In every MCU instalment, at least one character is guaranteed to lose a hand; a macabre bunch of Marvel fans have tried to predict who will be the next unfortunate victim of this grisly regularity in Endgame.
“Agan, one of the great licences that you have with serialised storytelling in cinema is that you can take the narrative to places that an individual, standalone film can’t,” Anthony Russo continued. “That’s one thing we always committed to in Infinity War: telling a story that was not going to go to a conventional place, and it was going to go to a difficult place. And trusting that the audience was ready for that kind of experience with those characters.”
Speaking of taking the narrative to other places, as a quantum weirdness buff, the prospect of the remaining Avengers utilizing quantum gubbins to somehow undo the Snaptastrophe could not make me squeal with delight any louder.
Watch this multidimensional space…
“The fact that they could break these two stories and make them as different as they are – to me, in the history of all the writing I’ve ever seen, it’s the single greatest story-breaking achievement,” Robert Downey Jr. remarked on the Infinity War set.
There is something about the original Iron Man movie that has been bugging me forever. And it wsn’t until a recent rewatch that it suddenly struck me – as decisive as any of Shellhead’s repulsor rayblasts.
Consider the very first glimpse we get of Tony. No, it’s not a view of Tony’s mug, but a close-up of his hand holding a drink glass.
Look at the way he’s holding it. Photoshop the glass out and it looks like he is… ready to snap his fingers…
The oldest Easter Egg in the MCU and nobody noticed. Maybe it’s Stark’s destiny to wield the gauntlet in the Last Round… and snap Thanos out of existence…?
Don’t listen to me.
Tried to predict the contents of Peter’s Awesome Mixtape Vol.2 and only got 1.5 out of 14 right. Perhaps that is the reason why most of my Followers have now drifted away… (Better not brood over this or Brad will start to look as miserable as Thor in the Endgame trailer – oh Lord (of Thunder), hope he gets a chance to shine in this movie. Still reckon that he and Rocket should get their own groovy movie together. “Cool? Cool.” “So cool!”).
No matter how adamantly the writers and directors stipulate that these are two very separate films, Infinity War and Endgame were conceived and written concurrently, with the story framework set out during the last quarter of 2015, and the scripts developed during the first five months of 2016.
“Without being able to reveal anything about Endgame,” Markus explains, “They’re very different movies structurally and tonally.”
One has mainly stayed away from the ever-trundling rumour-mill, but it would be amazing to see the likes of the Ancient One, or Hela – and Loki, of course! 😉 – make dramatic returns to the MCU.
One amusing story in paticular caught my attention: In the last few weeks, a growing number of fans have been speculating – all over again – that the golden boy himself: Adam Warlock will be The One to save Tony and Nebula! With uncertainty surrounding the prospects of a Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3, stories of Adam’s cinematic debut being pushed discretely forward naturally gained pace. As integral to the Infinity saga (in the comics) as Thanos he may be, even this fanboy readily accepts that no matter how groovy this prospect sounds, Adam’s appearance in this movie remains, alas, highly unlikely.
Even with the characters-who-survived-the-Snap, chances for the already-dense 181-minute running time being staggered further by any new faces popping up also seem remote.
Or are they…?
“There will be great stakes for the characters,” Joe Russo warns.
There will be consequences, both brothers have advised.
Whilst it his been said that Infinity War was the brawn, Endgame will be the brains.
Oh, and the heart. A heckuva lotta heart.
If you thought last year’s epic brought on more emotional intensity than you thought mentally and physically possible, expect this year’s jawdropper to crank up the feels even further. So make sure to bring lots an’ lotsa tissues…
God, it seems like a thousand years ago since that playboy-billionaire-philanthropist-quip-dispenser fought his way out of that cave…
The most persistent speculation concerning Endgame plot-points involves Steve Rogers making the ultimate sacrifice. Indeed, Chris Evans’ emotional last-day-on-set tweet implied his departure from the franchise here.
But does it have to mean the death of Steve?
The trailer indicated that these two valiant characters will, at last, reconcile after the almost-calamitous fallout from Civil War; personally, that would be one of my top moments to expect.
And it will come just in time.
My instincts regrettably inform me that we will have to bid, instead, a heartrending farewell to Tony Stark.
Throwing in my ten-satangs-worth – ’tis, after all, MY blog, by Jove! – during the inevitably edge-of-yer-seat finale, it looks like Steve is a goner, but Tony will step in – at the last minute – and pay the ultimate price. Wracked by post-Snap torment, this demise in particular sends Steve over the edge, and makes him secretly commandeer the time-bending technology (that everybody saus will feature prominently in this movie) so he can “escape” back to the ’40s.
And get to have that date – and a life! – with Peggy. A less morbid, more tender, denouement to the Cap’s story-arc – still going to play havoc on everybody’s tear-ducts though!
That is how this ol’ sentimental boobie would have written it…
Let’s hope we can still expect some mirthful moments amidst these seemingly morose proceedings. Heck, if we can hear rib-ticklers as classic as: “Dude, you’re embarrassing me in front of the wizards” then it should be mighty fine and dandy! Expect Markus and McFeely to supply an engrossing narrative and deft dialogue; expect the Russo Brothers at the helm to tighten the pace and proceedings by smacking our gobs (and not numbing our bums).
But most of all, dear friends:
expect the unexpected from this Endgame(-changer).
Allfather, let the Marvel Magic flow through us one last time…
ASSEMBLE all these elements in the right, awesome order and Brad will certainly be ONE VERY HAPPY BUNNY!!
Some people in this galaxy DON’T dig Marvel movies. 0_0
But not us…
Before unleashing my Review next week, this chattering animal will be posting – midweek – a few thoughts on the soon-to-be-revealed Avengers: Endgame, so hope you can join me for that!
Ha ha! We all wondered how we would manage to wait a whole year to find out how this monumental story arc could come to a satisfying MARVELous denouement – now we are only DAYS away.
So this is it? It’s all been leading to this…
Written by Jule Styne;
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn;
Vocals by Kitty Kallen;
Performed by Harry James & His Orchestra (1945)
Rumours are rife around the Rebellion that
Queen Cherisasara of Madeira, in the Whoopeedoo System, is an Imperial spy.
Having just narrowly escaped the Ruckus in Star-Field Zigma 12,
Brad Burrito Fartlighter, the Rebellion’s most
has opted to investigate the matter, especially as
that pleasure planet is renowned throughout the galaxy for its
delectable sweet fancies.
So whilst waiting for the ravishing ruler to show up,
your hero is entertaining the pretty Princess Gamelan at the Royal Court…
“Y’see, lov. it wuz like this,” Brad gesticulated. “I just manoeuvred straight down this trench and skimmed the surface to this point. The target area was only two meters wide. It was a small thermal exhaust port, right below the main port… but enough of this technical gubbins! ‘Ow ya bin doin’, Gammy?”
“Awesome as always, Mr. B, but enough about me – I take it the shaft was ray-shielded, so you had to use proton torpedoes?”
“You’re tellin’ me! It- say! You’re wasted at this royal court, lov. Ya could-“
At that moment, the heavy gilded double-doors of the Throne Room flung open, and in marched an official magisterial entourage.
“BEHOLT!” cried a whining and insubordinate voice. “Mek ware fer Hair Illuztriouz Majezty: Queen Cherizazara!”
The princess bolted straight to her feet; Brad stayed sprawled across his glitzy beanbag.
An elegant and deliriously beautiful verdant-skinned young woman swayed majestically across the gleaming marble floor. A trio of Diluvian dwarf-girls carried the extensive chiffon train of her elaborate silk costume.
“Remove the harlot from my sight, immediately!” she snapped, but with such a rich and mellifluous voice. “Leave us, Chamberlain!”
“Vhot?! Year Majezty! Leaf yo ELLURN wiv ze alien?!”
The Queen of Madeira shot one disdainful glance at your hero and snarled: “This… Earthling… should not give me any… trouble… Now, Chamberlain, be GONE!”
“But Year Majezty, Ay muzt protezt-!”
“I’m the QUEEN! TRY ME!”
“But yo muzt moof-!”
“I DON’T MOVE when you want me to move! And I don’t groove when you tell me to groove! ‘Cos I’m the QUEEN! And I always will be! Now… pathetic. Little… man. Get OUT, before I throw you out…!”
The Queen gnashed her teeth, observing venomously as her officials, the princess and servant-girls all scurried out; the Battleforce Commander-turned-blogger watched in fascination.
“Impressive. Most impressive…” he muttered, clambering to his feet.
The emerald enchantress rotated impatiently on her formidable stilettos and marched menacingly towards your calm and collected hero; her lustrous, but intimidatng, hazel eyes seared into his cute blues.
“SO…!” the Queen of Madeira snarled. “What’s your story? It had better be good or I’ll-I’ll… …!”
Unexpectedly, she fell silent, looking around anxiously to check if her minions had all gone.
“Oh, what the heck, they have all gone, haven’t they…? Good. Come here, baby…“
In that instant, all her rage dissipated, and she hurled her lithe figure into the Earthman’s arms.
“Hiya, Hotshot! How you doing?!”
“Sound as a pound, lov.”
“Ha ha, HA, that’s my Brad!”
She stepped back, taking in a thorough butcher’s at him, then shook his hunky torso playfully.
“Uh-huh, look at me…”
“Gawd, yer even MORE ridiculously good-lookin’ than ever! How do ya do it, baby?!”
“‘Ow much time ya got, Yer Maj…?”
The Queen of Madeira led Brad to her Royal Lounge, a sumptuous chamber strewn with even larger glitzy beanbags; intricate mosaics decorated the floor while sumptuous murals adorned the ceiling; an open, ornate balcony overlooked the main foyer. She guided him over to a large, opulent couch-for-two; she reclined, slowly and sensuously, enticing him to repose beside her.
“Tell me, Brad, what… …” she exclaimed softly, then tugged at his jacket to catch his attention. “Hello, handsome… are you receiving me, over… …?!”
He could not speak (yet), otherwise entranced by the winsome smile radiating from her glistening fuchsia lips, the billowing violet, candy floss “hair” and the divine caress of her intoxicating vanilla perfume.
“Ah, Cherry, I’ve missed you…” he eventually sighed, savouring the velvety mattress beneath him.
“As always, I am transfixed by the exquisite lustre in yer eyes,
A glow that shines like the sunrise.
When first we met, me heart flew high,
On gleaming wings through a cloudless sky.
You ta me are ev’rythin’,
The sweetest song that I can sing…”
“Whoo, really…? Say, Hotshot, all that cake has certainly given you a sweet mouth, hasn’t it…?!” she sniggered bashfully.
“Okay… There is a very special man,
Who came from far, far away.
He visits me but only once in a crimson moon,
But not a day later can he stay.
Our song of love is pure and fair
All hurt the music can repair.
How cute and extraordinary this dude from “Earth,”
All those fleeting moments when he excites my heart, I love a lifetime’s worth.”
“Nice… but then again, ya can’t beat a good slice o’ Madeira Cake. Or three…”
“Thank you! So tell me, Brad, were you and… that lil cupcake… exchanging equally heartfelt lines when I came in? You know she’s bad news in cheap make-up…”
“What, Gammy? Aww, she’s a good girl, causin’ no-“
“No trouble? Uff, she’s a constant pain – always poking her snooty lil nose in my affairs. She’s untrustworthy – she’ll betray us both one day…”
“By Holdo’s Beard! Tha’s nah way ta talk abaht yer own sister! Look, she only requested some cake recipes, an’ I obliged, like…”
A lengthy disbelieving pause, until the Queen of Madeira slapped her mouth to stifle shrieks of laughter.
“Oh, YOU! That’s the lamest fib I’ve ever heard. Ha! For once, your wicked way with words FAILS you, Brad. That’s the most-”
“‘Onest statement. She fancied some’t other than Madeira Cake fer a change…”
Cherry leant forward, placing the flexed fingers of her right, bejewelled hand to the side of his head, then darted back in astonishment.
“By the crystal foxes of Crait…” she gasped. “You’re… telling the truth…?!”
“I got no reason ta lie ta you, Cherry… an’ you KNOW that, too… Speaking of truth…”
“Yes, yes, I picked it up in the mind-meld as well – it dominates your thoughts. Rajendra and your rebel-buddies all believe that I’m an Imperial spy… Those… rumours have gotten out of control… They’re sooo… ridiculous…!” She skimmed his luscious lips with one of her extended, extensively-painted fingernails. “…An’ you KNOW that!”
“Yyyyyeah, I guess so…”
“You KNOW so! Look, every time you’re here, Brad, it’s such a thrill… Just how long have you been fighting with the Rebellion? Are you closer now to defeating the Empire than you were… Dyzan knows how many years ago…?! Walk away from it all, baby…”
“Come again, lov…?!”
“Leave the war behind. Stay here, in my palace, and we can enjoy the myriad delights of Madeira together…
Can you stay…?
Can you be mine…?
Can you… be… my love forever more… …?”
“Yes, I can be… but part o’ me is always gonna be itchin’ ta get aht an’ thwart the Empire as much as poss… Aww, ‘eck... I’ll STAY! Oh yes, Cherry. A thousand times, yes, I’ll be YOURS. Throughaht the galaxy there’s NAHbody:
“Not ‘arf, lov! Yeah, there’s nahbody as groovy as you… Fer you, Yer Maj, I can be anythin’ you wan’ me to be… Anythin’, lov… … as long as it’s not an Admiral wiv pink ‘air… …”
“There’s something I’ve simply got to tell you, baby…” the Queen announced.
“Mmm, okey-dokey, lov – I’m all ears-“
A sensor on her bracelet bleeped manically. “Oh, fudge!” she cursed.
“Oh, I’ve ‘eard that many times before…”
“What? No, not that. Please excuse me, Brad, I’ve got to take this call… Um, I’ll see that my royal chefs prepare you the finest spicy meal – the way you like it!”
“Ooh, goody gumdrops! Bless yer heart, Cherry…”
“Ha ha! Thought you’d dig that! Won’t be a minute, baby…”
She swanned over to her office chamber and activated her vid-conf system; a familiar Dark Lord appeared onscreen, beaming devilishly.
“Hello, preetty! ‘Tiz done?”
“Yes, yes, Zeg, the Earthling is here with me…”
“Goot! Ay shell dizpetch may fainezt deeveejun uv Shokk Troopairz to appreehent heem! Heh heh… Yo hef done well, Yair Majezty!”
“No, not at all… Now you listen here, Lord Tosspot: I only agreed to this rotten plan to prevent you from foisting one of your blasted garrisons on my territory! But to betray this hero? Nuh-uh, I’m not going to comply any more-“
“A footile murve. HA, yo kennot deny eet: Madeira belurngz to Zan Doka! End ze Urfzcurm eez main! Main, Ay tell yo, main main MAIN!”
“NEVER… We will never see that-“
“Urv course… Ay ken mek eet eeziair fer yo – jurrrrroin weev me! End togezzair ve shell rule ze galaxy ez huzzbend end WAIFE!”
“I’ll never join you! Demented little Zandokan cu-“
“ZYLENZ! Knur yer plazz, woman!”
“Uff, I know it all too well, Crotchstain. Always – ALWAYS! – parsecs ahead of the likes of you. Doing EVERYTHING in my POWER to deny you and your despicable Imperial hordes whatever you crave! For the pride of my people. And then some…”
“Heh, yo try ta fool Zegreatme?! Yo VEEL be main, darleenk! Dyzan decreez eet! Ve vill BREEEED weev yo, end our Empeerial prurgeny-“
“Ugh, hush up, NO! By the crimson moon, a thousand times no!! I’d rather kiss a skunk-“
“Hmm, zpeakeenk urv zkurnkz… vot do yo zee in zat Urfmairn?! Hee’z recklezz! Pennilezz! Hopelezz! AY em Zegreatme, Dark Lord uv Zan Doka! Ve ken leef een ENNY WUN urv may DOZAIN palazzez! VOT do yo ZEE een a BURM like ZAT?!”
“That’s something a chauvinist like you will NEVER understand…”
“Grrr, but vhy HEEM? Vhy, vhy?! Tell me VHY!”
“Can you keep a secret?”
“Good boy. Over and out.”
“Confound it,” the Queen growled as she returned to her special guest. “CONFOUND it!”
“Whassup? Run ahtta salad?”
“What? Oh… no, it’s- Like I said, I’ve really got something to tell you, baby…”
“‘Ey, wotcha frettin’ abaht…? Y’know, Yer Maj, I’ve never seen ya lose yer cool-“
“Yeah, yeah, baby, but please listen-“
Suddenly, the double-doors downstairs swung violently open.
“I got THAT awright!”
“No! It’s- aow, HELL – it’s too late… …”
Brad peered over the balcony and yelped as a division of Shokk Troopers burst in: “‘ULK IN AN ‘OT TUB! Zandokans!! ‘Ow the blazes did THEY get in ‘ere?!”
“THAT is what I’ve… been trying to tell you… Forgive me, Brad, I-I… granted them permission to come here… to capture you…”
“Cherry, no… Say it ain’t so…” his lip quivered as he drew his blaster.
The Queen of Madeira could not bear to gaze into his crestfallen face. “Please, Commander, try to understand – with the Empire vying to wrest my sovereignty away from me on one side, and my beleaguered council trying to retain social order on the other, I had to… play along…”
“Aow… maybe yer… playin’ along wiv me now…” Brad sulked, desperately trying to quash a wodge of mistrust swelling in his heart. “This ‘ole charade wuz a TRAP… an’ – jeez – fer once I fell fer it..?! Not me, not now! No way, no ‘ow!”
“Oh no, my sweet! I would NEVER- You must NOT think like tha- WATCH OUT!”
The Troopers hurtled into view, and the queen grabbed your hero, and away they fled down the marble-floored corridor. They could hear these one-dimensional extras clanking right after them in hot pursuit.
Along the way, Cherry activated an emergency panel in the wall and, brandishing a phase-plasma rifle, fired warning shots at the approaching Imperial troopers, who – upon running into range – immediately ducked for cover:
“Do you think you can trust me, now, handsome…?!”
“‘Whoo, outta sight. Long Live The Queen– ‘Ere, ‘ang on…” Brad protested, gawping in amazement. “Tha’s not in the script…! “I’m the ‘ero! ‘Ow come yer gun’s bigger than mine?!”
“That’s life, honeybunch…”
“Ha! Funny girl- ‘Ey, this auto-door! In ‘ere, quick!”
“No, Brad, that’s my-!”
He burst into a small, but refined room, where dozens of ornate, shimmering garments bedecked glittering racks along both walls.
“Dear Barbara… Gedda loada’ the fancy clobber in ‘ere…”
“-My walk-in-wardrobe, sir.”
“Groovy. We can disguise ourselves as a coupla’ Jawas an’ split while the Shokkers are still scopin’…”
“Bra-ha-had, no-ho-ho! Funny boy!” the queen cried hysterically, trying to stifle a fit of royal giggles. She frantically closed and locked the auto-door behind them, hoping that any Zandokans hadn’t heard her outburst.
They gazed at each other amorously in the half-light, listening to their biochemech pursuers lurking stealthily just outside…
“We ought to be “in danger”…” she whispered ever so demurely. “But- but why oh why do I… feel so… absolutely safe with you…?”
“‘Cos I’m the ‘ero?” he muttered ever so charmingly. “‘Cos I’m the one ‘oo – despite gettin’ constantly shot at – nevah gets ‘it…? Stay outta sight, lov…”
He gently prised the rifle from the Queen’s clutches and reached for the auto-door, intending to charge out blasting. “Bring ’em on, I’d prefer a straight fight ta all this sn-“
Suddenly, behind him, Cherry pressed against his back, wrapping her arms around his abs, holding him against her pounding chest.
“No, hotshot…” she insisted, almost breathlessly. “I’m NOT going to let you go… a-again. So many… MANY times I’ve let you fly off and do your… “hero-thing” all over the galaxy, but not… not this time, baby. Come on, let’s escape… together, far beyond these Troopers… the Empire… And everything…”
“Aww, Cherry, where could we go? Where CAN we go…? I’m a Wanted man in 12 systems, me!”
“Uh-huh, but nobody wants you more than the Queen of Madeira…”
She began to fondle Brad’s hand.
“Stop that,” he requested.
“Stop what?” she replied.
“Stop that. Me mitts are dir’y.”
“My hands are dirty too. What are you afraid of… …?”
“In ‘ere… wiv you…” Brad exclaimed softly, “There’s no uvva place in the galaxy I’d rather be right now…”
“Nice. How long have we been locked in this hug, baby…?”
“Dunno, lov. But definitely not as long as I’d like…”
“Aww, bless your heart, Brad. I thought we could get out of here now, but I can still hear them creeping around outside.”
“Nah, tha’s me stomach…”
“Oh no! You still haven’t had that meal I promised you! So sorry, babe-”
“No worries, Cherry. We’ve… ‘ad a busy day… It‘s been… dramatic-”
“It’s been… unforgettable… I think we… especially you, you dashing thing, have waited long enough…” the Queen of Madeira panted tenderly in his ear, stepping back to unfasten her dress…
“…Strippin’ yer togs orf at a time like this?! Can ya do that?!”
“Try me, baby. I can do anything – ‘cos I’m the Queen!”
“An’ always will be…”
At that very moment, Brad squinted, and flung his hand up over his face as a piercing white light engulfed him. All Cherry could do was stand there, and watch, aghast and agitated, as all Brad could do was abruptly vanish amidst a portal of pulsating particles… …
“B-Baby… … …?”
When his sight had readjusted, your hero found himself standing on the teleporter of his own crate: the Calista Blockhead. His Second Officer: Lexi Wahldorf stood at the console, arms folded in a highly agitated manner…
“An’ jus’ what the blazes am I doin’ back ‘ere so soon?!” the Battleforce Commander-turned-blogger growled incredulously.
“I- WE, had to get you away from the spy, pronto!” Lexi roared.
“Look, fer the umpteenth time, The Queen of Madeira AIN’T a spy!”
“No, not the queen – the princess…”
“Oh, come orf it! Gammy’s not in league wiv da Zandokans…”
“Course not, she’s OUR spy. General Rajendra himself requested that she report any shady shenanigans at the Madeiran Royal Court; several Imperial agents have infiltrated the queen’s staff already-“
“Blimey! Now that explains ‘er exceptionally avid interest in me adventures in Star-Field Zigma 12-“
“GAWD, you-! You make it SO difficult sometimes.”
“I do, I really- eh?! ‘Oo me? Nevah!”
“Shoosh, Commander! YOU – “great hero,” uff! – were interfering with her mission! You couldn’t stop pestering her-”
“Wuz so! You w-“
“Wuz. NOT. “Interferin’.” Lex. She only requested some cake recipes, an’ I obliged, like…”
Lexi shook her head in appalled disbelief. “That’s the lamest fib I’ve ever heard… Ha! That’s the most-”
“Look, Lex, ‘Er Majesty can verify that! She even put ‘er ‘and on my-“
“BRA-AD, be extra careful what you spout in front of your Second Officer, Commander!”
“Hmm… an’ you be extra careful wotcha doin’ wiv yer Commander, Officer! You send me back right this instant, an’-“
“And just WHY did you pay a visit to Her Majesty, the Queen of Madeira…?”
“I’ll ‘ave ya know that I wuz… operatin’ as close advisor to ‘Er Maj-“
“Oho, TOO close, Commander. Your smug chops are splattered with HER blamed lipstick!!”
“Ooh, Blimey Charley, are they really…?! Anyways, why did ya ‘ave ta get me aht then, jus’ as I wuz abaht ta-“
“I KNOW what you were about to do, Commander! That’s why I got you out then…”
“Yeah, but why, Lex? Why? Tell me WHY?!”
She stared intensely at him until her lips trembled:
“Do you not know… …?”
Hard to believe that my father – former globe-trotting RAF sergeant and Jedi Knight – passed away on this day 10 years ago.
Considering how difficult it has been trying to concentrate on writing anything else this week, this Post seemed like an ideal celebration to compile.
Having had absolutely no paternal guidance himself, he sometimes found it difficult to be Dad – “I’m just making it up as I go along, man” 🙂 Whatever problems or disagreements we had, it would only take one of us to suggest: “Let’s watch a movie” and everything would revert to being as right as rain again.
He really digged a smart script – he constantly criticised my short stories, complaining about the drab dialogue, constantly advising me to listen –always listen – to the way people talked. Thus, he picked up some iconic one-liners along the way, many of which are included here.
He appreciated some really fine performances, most notably: Eli Wallach (as Tuco) in The Good, The Bad And the Ugly (1967); Robert Lacey (as Toht) in Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981); and Robert De Niro in practically everything he did! But mainly the Godfather Part II (1974), Midnight Run (1988) and Heat (1995).
Possibly the most impressive performance he ever watched came from Anthony Quinn as Arabian tribal chief: Auda abu Tayi in Lawrence Of Arabia (1962). To us, that will stand forever as the Greatest Movie Ever Made – Quinn alone could easily have filled this Top 10 list (but of those few good clips, none of them stay online for long)
Today, you could have been treated to: the Top 10 Planes That Dad Loved To Fly. However, guessing that you probably wouldn’t recognise most of them anyway (for those of you taking notes, No.1 happened to be the de Havilland DH 98 Mosquito 😉 ) instead, this list will just have to suffice.
Paris Texas (1984) was one of those great Americana movies we enjoyed together, mainly because of that haunting soundtrack by Ry Cooder.
My father had been THAT CLOSE to getting a job Stateside, but after that fell through, he “disappeared,” trying to travel as much overland as possible. So when we found Ry Cooder attached to the soundtrack of this thriller set in the Louisana bayou, we thot we’d give it a go.
Mostly, a mean, moody and magnificent work, but the last ten minutes was a revelation. For the next few months, my quest for Cajun LPs stretched far and wide…
An anti-war war movie set during the Boer War (1899-1902) based on a true story.
Dad stayed up well after his bedtime, completely absorbed in this courtroom drama (and he detested courtroom dramas!) that featured one of the most notorious cases of military injustice.
And at breakfast the next morning, he couldn’t help but go on and on about it. Would have bunked off school that morning, just to listen to his enthusiasm all the way until lunchtime, if Mum hadn’t told me to skedaddle.
We regarded this as the greatest Australian movie ever made. Yes, that’s right, we thought it’s even better than Mad Max!
A cool, entertaining and highly recommended buddy comedy – how many times did this grace our VCR?! It got to the stage where we could hurl whole sections of dialogue at each other, and still never get tired of watching the actual movie.
The amazing – yet under-rated – Charles Grodin only had to walk through the door into this scene and Dad was already in stitches.
1:24 always cracked him up even more:
My father loved to read Philip K Dick’s novels, so couldn’t wait to watch the TV premiere of Blade Runner.
So much has been written about its influential visual futurism, but it was one of the replicants: not the obvious choice: Roy Batty, but Leon, played by the crazy-eyed Brion James who Dad paid particular attention to. His role as the one-armed Cajun trapper in Southern Comfort was the other reason why we watched that movie!
Always dig that mo @ 0:35 – when Dekard draws his gun and Leon immediately bats it away.
As Dad so eloquently put it: “Way too cool, man!”
Yeah, this is the typical “Dad Movie” alright.
Expect nothing less than one long gore-fest cram-packed with incredibly stylised bloody action sequences in Sam Peckinpah’s infamous masterpiece: The Wild Bunch.
And yet its most peaceful moment, when the bunch are riding off to certain death, that really struck a chord with Dad. He instantly fell in love with La Golondrina (The Swallow); it’s a Mexican tune written in the 19th century.
Had to take note of its time on our tape whenever he often requested just “THAT MOMENT from The Wild Bunch.”
“Very smart. That’s very smart for you damn gringos…”
You may already know how this blogger was blessed to have gawped at the original Star Wars trilogy in the cinemas on their respective original releases.
Even more exuberant to have a father who – for the next three decades – never failed to admit how glad he was to have taken me (and several excitable chums from school on numerous occasions!) and share the joy to be had from that galaxy far far away.
(For the record, his fav “character” – you’d never guess! – turned out to be Salacious B. Crumb – HA!)
So many thrilling individual moments to choose from…
He loved that now-legendary shot of Luke gazing into the twin suns and EVERY SINGLE TIME it came on, he’d whistle along to the Tatooine Theme, but the Imperial March provoked a more striking action: EVERY SINGLE TIME we reached 1:27, Dad would start slamming his heel into the floor in time to the Imperial beat. Hannibal (our tabby cat) could sense that particular disturbance in the Force comin’ – honestly, he never fled THAT FAST in sheer terror from any other movie…
“You found something?” 😉
Arguably, the coolest western ever made.
Dad taped this for me during my last year at junior school; he’d enjoyed watching this in an open-air screening in Yemen back in ’68. Gian Maria Volonte as El Indio, was one of Dad’s fav villains. Which of his scenes to select?
But then memories of how Dad laughed every time Klaus Kinski appeared, especially here @ 0:10.
This scene is probably the most TENSE confrontation in movie history.
Saw a lot of my father in Colonel Douglas Mortimer (Lee van Cleef): true gentleman; expert marksman; absolute BADASS!
Not only were we entranced by this stupendous and spellbinding retelling of the legend of King Arthur, but we were gobsmacked by the music of Richard Wagner. Siegfied’s Funeral March, especially, had quite an inspirational and spiritual hold over both of us.
With its almost ethereal imagery, and powerful performances, this was John Boorman’s masterpiece.
Studying ancient British history – and the legends/mythology stemming from these isles – became our joint mission; and Excalibur brought the two of us even closer together.
Now you know why this movie is played in Brad Manor every year on the fifth night of the second month…
Aow, it really is getting more emotional now…
My father’s final trip to the cinema came in January 1991. Dances With Wolves satisfied his fascination for American Civil War history, and marked the directorial debut of Kevin Costner, whose The Untouchables (1987) we had enjoyed immensely.
Dad always remarked out loud at the superb training of Two Socks. Except for our last viewing together @ Christmas 2008 – it would mark the final viewing session we shared together, but by that time, he was too weak to keep awake through most of it…
Oh, THAT music:
His favourite movie star.
His favorite rock song.
So when these two most formidable entities in the universe collided in our living room back in ’91, it became one of those life-affirming moments. Heck, with Arnie’s shot-gun twirl, the big rig carnage on the LA freeway and many more energetic sequences, will never forget how Dad kept jumping out of his armchair.
The Original Brad To The Bone 🙂
As that other “great old man” once said: “he was the best pilot in the galaxy and a good friend.”
He always told me: NEVER GIVE UP, and yet he gave up a career in the RAF to become a full-time Dad.
In an insane world, it was the sanest choice.
Here it is!
You can step (click?) out of the 21st century a mo and sample some of the delights of yesteryear!
As you’d expect, the drinks are fizzy and the music is stellar in this sector of the blogosphere! There are bowls of Twiglets and Cheesy Wotsits as far as the eye can see, and a whole stash of Curly Wurlys, Banjos, Jammy Dodgers and Wagon Wheels to enjoy.
Amidst snazzy streamers and popping balloons, let’s get this groovy get-together off and flying!
The mystery. The suspense. The adventure. The call… that started it all.
Brad said he would NOT go to watch E.T. back in ’82?
Even when yours truly was only that high, he felt too old to indulge in such mushy, sentimental falderdash! Wanted my aliens to be cool, menacing, even hostile if it guaranteed great action sequences. All the kids in my class knew that this quiet, spindly lil blond moppet sitting at the back of the classroom forever reading comics, was the one most likely to dig sci-fi movies, and yet none of them could understand why he was the only one not to go watch E.T. Quite clearly, Dyzan moves in mysterious ways…
Yeah, watched this Spielberg classic upon receiving its belated UK TV premiere, and loved it.
Was absolutely delighted to hear this personal fav pop song played in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Captures perfectly that John Hughes vibe:
All he wanted to do was dance... 😉
No matter what creative pursuits occupied this particular tiny mind, in his Command centre (i.e. his bedroom), or wherever he was on his Grifter bike, Brad just had to be in front of the telly every Thursday evening at around 7pm to catch the latest edition of Top Of The Pops, in which groups performed their latest singles.
With YouTube, it’s great to re-watch some of the best performances to appear on the show, many of which one really believed would never be seen again.
Bought a few singles myself, (mostly EPs on cassette) but not anywhere near as many as one would have liked…
If you enjoyed the 80s vibes and nostalgia of The Midnight – Explorers you’ll love this too:
SPOILER!: They’re heading for the medical frigate…
there were only two Star Wars movies?
Come 1983, almost eweyone at school anxiously wondered if Revenge Of the Jedi had any chance of equalling its illustrious predecessors. Then the deflating story swept through the classrooms: George Lucas had changed the title (to the more dull Return Of The Jedi, upon realising that vengeance is not exactly a trait associated with “that old religion”). Obviously, we concurred: the production was doomed, and thus we feared the worst.
This Richard Marquand-directed presentation blew us all away with its spectacular story and spills. Naturally, we ended up gawping all the way through it, just as much as we’d done all the way through Star Wars 2 three years earlier.
Can’t remember any of the Trigonometry lessons from around that time, but will never forget that acquiring the latest range of Star Wars action figures and filling up our Official Return Of The Jedi Sticker Albums became essential endeavours. 😉
Greetings, Retrowaver. You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against smartphones and mainstream “music” 🙂
Alex smiles + Grig smiles = Everybody smiles!
The “experts” insisted that the revolutionary “new” computerised special visual effects technology utilised in The Last Starfighter (1984) would transform the ways in which SF movies were produced?
Unfortunately, such is the rapacious rate at which computer technology has advanced in just the last three decades, so the sfx of this little sci-fi action/adventure outing have dated rather poorly. Anyway, the film neatly tapped into the video-game-craze that was massive back then, and carries a charm, sensitivity and sense of wonder that is badly-needed in the CGI-driven dross we are lumbered with nowadays.
The central performances provide its other strong points: Lance Guest as the top video-gamer: Alex Rogan who wins a trip to a galactic war, is always entertaining, certainly more memorable than some wooden leading players we could mention, but Dan O’Herlihy made Star Navigator 1st Class Grig awesome enough to become one of my all-time fave cinematic aliens,
Easily the most enjoyable aspect of compiling these music posts is that moment when (you think) you’ve got all the platters that matter and are set to launch, when –at the last minute! – something captures your senses. This next number is the latest instance of this astonishing trend, discovered only this past weekend!
The assortment of freaky aliens hare – designed by Jim Henson’s Creature Workshop! – appeared in the video to Billy Ocean’s 1985 hit single: “Loverboy”(!)
These grooves are so cosmic they can’t be from this Earth! This has become my new favourite track:
Beware of geeks bearing gifs 😉
It’s one of those parties where you just don’t want the merriment to end, right?
For those who want to enjoy more Retrowave jollities, you’re welcome to zip along to my last volume of Electric Dreams (and follow the Links back to the other instalments!)
There will be LOTS MORE parties, reviews and fiction to come on Bradscribe
we can all pull ourselves away from this dreamy gif:
In compiling this week’s thrilling instalment of Manic Music Monday, only one influential individual came to mind.
Vivian Stanshall (1943-1995), highly eccentric, “as-English-as-tuppence” singer-songwriter, musician, author, poet and side-splitting wit, most famous for writing and performing with The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.
Wnen he wasn’t hanging out with John and Paul of The Beatles, getting up to wacky japes with Keith Moon of The Who, and recording his debut solo album with Traffic’s Steve Winwood, he toiled away – over several years – on an ingenious, seminal work: Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, an episodic surrealist radio serial especially recorded for BBC Radio 1’s John Peel show, chronicling the bizarre – but unfailingly hilarious, and highly recommended – (mis)adventures of inebriated and irascible old codger: Sir Henry Rawlinson.
This Christmas, it has been great getting reacquainted with this blinking-bonkers masterpiece.
Did some rummaging around online, and eventually discovered this obscure gem.
biG GRunt was “one of a number of short-lived groups” Viv formed following the demise of The Bonzos, but considering these groups featured the same core personnel, it could be argued that they’re essentially the same band masquerading under a variety of names.
This rare performance (recorded in 1970) appeared on a BBC4 documentary about this exceptionally gifted inductee of the Bradscribe Hall of Fame:
“My mother was a lighthouse keeper. My father was a queen…”
At long last, the Aquaman movie has dived into our popcorn parlours!
Once more, Brad, that nautical nerd, can flex his flippers and reactivate his fervour for all things Atlantean by enjoying a CGIfest of florescent undersea vistas! Mermen speaking underwater in American accents! Scaly warriors mounted on seahorses!
Or can he…?
Reinventing one of the most lameass characters in DC Comics – a derisory figure traditionally clad in an orange spandex vest and green tights (>_<) – as a hulking, tattooed badass turned out to be not only a wise move, but a necessary one. Out of the abysmal Justice League movie, Aquaman turned out to be the only character to root for.
Months ago, especially when the promising trailer for this standalone movie splashed across the ‘net, it seemed like Jason (“My Man!”) Momomoaa could single-handedly revive the hapless fortunes of the DC Cinematic Universe, and – despite having never read any of the Aquaman comics (well really, has anybody?!) – even yours truly pondered: yeah, why not? Let’s give them one last chance….
December has arrived all-too-quickly and my current mood towards blockbuster movies in general is – shall we say – not as effervescent as the bubbly visuals supposedly on offer in this latest addition to the ever-bulging mass of comic book movies.
Is this soggy saga seaworthy enough to make ol’ barnacle-ridden Brad part with his hard-scrounged pieces of eight…?
Cynical wisecracks AHOY!
It may not stand up so well these days, but upon first viewing at the age of 6, Warlords of Atlantis (1978) instantly won me over with its action, adventure, striking visuals, and mutated leviathans and instilled in me an overwhelming urge to gather any scrap of info concerning Atlantis and other ancient mysteries of the deep. Back then, you see, anything starring Doug McClure automatically became my favourite movie.
That creepy moment when the faceless Guardians emerge from under the sea remains one of my all-time groovy moments in SF/fantasy movie history!
Although it is difficult to deduce now, this film looks like the main contender for inspiring me to write (at the age of 6) my very first short story: “City Beneath Th Sea.”
For a long time, yours truly thought Warlords of Atlantis had the best movie title of all time; mention those three precious words – or play that theme music – and this ’70s cult classic still gives me goose pimples after all these decades!
Some of the models, particularly that prehistoric plesiosaur – “It got my pencil!” – not to mention the all-too-obviously-rubber tentacles of the giant octopus are undeniably smirkworthy, but one never tires of those startling matte paintings, sets, costume design and some atmospheric sound effects. And the one and only Doug McClure, of course!
In the depths of my infant mind lie murky recollections of a truly bizarre TV mini-series that had me enthralled across three consecutive Friday evenings during April 1981. The Amazing Captain Nemo produced by Irwin Allen, was a shoddy attempt to replicate his TV success with Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea.
The premise: Captain Nemo emerges from a hundred-year-cryogenic-sleep to be recruited by the US government to thwart the world domination plans of evil genius: Professor Cunningham (played by Burgess Meredith!) is daft enough, but this was made in 1978, when ALL the studios clamoured for sci-fi in the wake of that phenomenal catch known as Star Wars. So, to make it even more ridiculous, add an army of blaster-wielding golden androids, laser battles between divers on the sea bed, plus a lumbering bionic henchman in a snazzy silver suit (Tor! Thought he was so cool! Wished that he had his own action figure…)
And never forgotten that diminutive fella wearing the golden mask, responsible for firing the deadly Delta ray.
The longshots of the ruined temples of Atlantis are just murky enough to conceal any hint of being tacky models. King Tibor of Atlantis is played by that member of The Magnificent Seven who nobody can name; and Lynda Day George shows up simply because the producers realised that the cast included no women.
Watched it again, this week, after all these years – well aware that its poor reputation could spoil my fond childhood memories.
However, ship mates!
Having already sat through the truly abysmal likes of BS: Dawn Of Just Ass, Assassins’ Creed and Star Wars: Can’t Even Remember The Bally Name One Year On, An’ Ah Ain’t Gonna Google It At This Time O’ Night, Ma’am!, in comparison, this Captain Nemo turned out just Amazing enough to be harmlessly entertaining in its own, albeit cheap and dodgy, way!
Not sure if Jules Verne would have approved though…
We arrive, inevitably, at that notorious Italian bilge-ridden oddity from 1983: Raiders of Atlantis, aka Atlantis Inferno or, as my gang knew it, when we rented it on video: The Atlantis Interceptors.
After being disturbed by modern scientific deep sea experiments, the fabled island of Atlantis rises again, and its denizens – who just happen to be a demented punk bunch of Mad Max rejects! – wreak havoc on land and kill all landlubbers who cross the path of their dune-buggies and motorcycles…
This is the sort of exercise where any type of script is not required – any vestige of sanity is wiped out halfway through in a relentless 30-minute volley of non-stop violence. Bearing in mind we were only 12 at that time, this is the sort of mindless mess for which we craved. Yeah, we thought it outrageous and completely nonsensical, but that only increased our enjoyment!
The credits state this is “directed”(?! HA!!) by “Roger Franklin.” Uff, 80s kids like me can sniff the “work”(??) of Ruggero Deodato fathoms away.
Knowing that The Atlantis Interceptors is freely available on YouTube, a re-watch proved simply irresistible. Now, viewing it alone, and with what some would call a “mature” perspective, the whole point of it all just seems so baffling. Considering what “fun” it gave us thirty years ago, this is NOT the worse movie ever made; the most bonkers movie ever made? Oh, almost certainly!
Could this video rental really be so atrocious when it boasts a theme song as groovy as THIS?!:
Speaking of crap movies, back to Aquaman.
Director James Wan impressed me with The Conjuring (2013), and he appears to have made a concerted effort to brighten the mood/look of Warner/DC movies, before the whole lousy DC Cinematic Universe sinks without trace…
Plus, the always-reliable presence of Willem Defoe – and Black Manta, who looks cool in the trailer – are the strongest factors pulling me in. Sure, it offers “stunning visuals,” but considering how the state of special effects now has become so sophisticated, no sense of magic or charm can be attained; moreover, some of the poorest-received movies of recent times were weakly defended with claims of “stunning visuals”…
Blimey, not even that legendary thesp: Dolph Lundgren – as the King of The Lost Continent – can get me out on a stormy night like this. Besides, Arthur Curry’s descent into Atlantis (seen in the trailer) reminds me too much of that cringe-inducing moment in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace when Obi-Wan Kenobi and Liam Neeson visited that undersea kingdom…
And, judging from the awful quote above, the script sounds ready to make me seasick.
Ugh, permission to throw myself overboard…
Have a pretty good idea that Aquaman could never inspire the 6-year-old Brad, and my mates would definitely have slung in a few mocking jibes if they’d caught this in my VCR back in the day…
Can the Aquaman movie really be as clever as this trailer?
Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…