Fantastic Beats And Where To Find Them: Vol: 3

Back By Popular Demand!  

(Not really – just always wanted to type that!) ūüėȬ†

“The thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud… I may not dance your dances or speak your language. But be a blessing to somebody. That’s what I think” – Maya Angelou.¬†

We are going to have to wait AGES¬†for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but here – in the groovy sector of the blogosphere – you don’t have to hold¬†out too long for¬†Vol. 3 of those¬†Fantastic Beats.

Love the way this blogging platform allows me to insert music into my fiction Рto evoke mood, or enhance the wow factor. Sometimes, however, an irresistible, uproarious tune will pop up, but its deliriously distracting vid prevents it from inclusion Рhere, all the best examples have been presented. 

Besides, it seems like an eternity since the frivolous and frenetic dancathon that was Fantastic Beats Vol. 2. 

Hey, DJ Brad, you ask, where do we begin? 

What better place than @ the beginning?!

Detroit,¬†to be exact.¬†During the ’80s, when house music appeared, the much rougher sound¬†of¬†techno music¬†also emerged; one of its pioneers was¬†Jeff Mills.¬†After all this time, he is still experimenting with various kinds of infectious beats.¬†Recently – to my sheer delight –¬†he has incorporated¬†strong¬†sci-fi-vibes into a more ambient direction of his work.

Just the other day we stumbled across this zany vid to a fave old skool classic –¬†what a swell buncha’ fellas!¬†

No disruption. No damages. Just dancing. Delightful.

But why the masks for dancing in the street, amigos? 

If you’re worried about getting nabbed for “social disorder” then, blazes,¬†Brad¬†should’ve been put behind bars long ago, by Jove!¬†ūüėČ

“In these science fiction stories – even against enormous odds – people still feel the urge to go on, to discover… I understood it wouldn‚Äôt be easy to materialise some of these ideas slightly beyond the dance floor in electronic music. Actually there‚Äôs quite a lot of resistance against changing or using music in other things” – Jeff Mills.¬†

As you may have noticed, Paul Birken has become synonymous with my Fartlighter Bradventures. 

This following track can be found on Mr. Birken’s own YouTube channel, which is – as the neighbours can attest – visited every day.¬†

As far as we know, he even compiled the vid himself! 

Actually, the original Drvg Cvltvre track is kinda meh, but add a Paul Birken Remix and РWAHEY! Рit is transformed into a stupendous stomper: 

“The only thing that you have that nobody else has¬†is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can” – Neil Gaiman.

For the next tem, it was a case of looking for a cool vid, and decent sound quality. One fine example initially slated for this next spot has been taken down.

No worries: regularly listened to this stylish stand-by whilst writing fiction @ our Southeast Asian retreat a few years back.

Sandwell District was the sensational Рalbeit short-lived Рcollaboration between DJs Function and Regis (who is one of my faves).

The video is the short film: Tunnel of Love (1977) featuring Tamara Beckwith and Edward Tudor Pole.

Mesmerising…

 

“Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance” – Confucius.¬†

“Variety is the spice of Bradscribe,”¬†as they say.

It’s not all¬†about¬†bompity-bompitybomp records one after another here.

Fantastic beats can be found across many diverse musical genres.¬†Besides, you never know what you’re going to get on this site, but it’s best¬†to¬†prepare yourself for gorgeous grungy gems such as this next item.

Many thanks to the¬†Transexual Swiss Rebels –¬†yes! Them again –¬†for reminding me of the rich cultural heritage that is African-American music:

“Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself” – Annie Leibovitz. ¬†

It would be interesting to learn¬†what inspired¬†Steve Hillage –¬†legendary frontman of 70s psychedelic rock band: Gong –¬†to make the transition to techno music by the 90s.¬†He has adapted to it rather well, for how about this for fusion: never seen/heard anyone else playing electric guitar over electronic dance music.

If one could attend one more music festival, then it must have System 7 on the bill. Mr. and Mrs. Hillage have gained a reputation for being one of the best live acts in the land.

As you can see here, this vid was shot in the living room @ Brad Manor (hence the belly dancers):

Get on the good foot, Loki!¬†ūüėČ

“Towards the end of the 80s, when Acid House exploded, we felt, you know, we had found our new musical home…¬†and we just thought: we’ve seen the future! This is gonna be fucking massive, man! Electronic! Dance. Music. Eureka!” –¬†Steve Hillage.

Twenty years ago, coinciding with my giddy times @ university, the Tresor label (based in Berlin) brought out some of the most snazzy techno tunes, a lot of which helped me plough through some particularly difficult Рor just unbelievably dull Рessays.

Discovering YouTube eight years ago helped me to delve into the scintillating back catalogue¬†of¬†one of that label’s most innovative lights: an excitable – and highly enjoyable – bunny known only as Brixton. ¬†

Reckon a DJ just stands there, fiddling with a Roland TB-303, a Roland TR-909, or whatnot? 

Trust Brixton to put the LIVE into live set!

And remember: if at first you don’t succeed… just dance!

Cheers!

 

“What just happened? Please tell me nobody kissed me…” – Tony Stark.¬†

 

 

 

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Good! Let The VIII Flow Through You!: First Impressions Of The Last Jedi

Breathe. Just Breathe. Now Reach Out.

What Do You See?

Green Greedo: “I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.”

Han Solo: “Yes, I bet you have...”

“When I read VIII, I told Rian, ‘I fundamentally disagree with virtually everything you’ve decided¬†about¬†my character’,”¬†Mark Hamill¬†said before embarking on filming¬†Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Although Mark swiftly changed his mind and had a blast resurrecting the character with which he will always be associated with, immediately, this statement turned out to be the most worrisome aspect of this latest instalment.¬†If it was “shocking” for Mark to read what Rian had written, then how is it going to make us feel?!

Personal reservations about new characters and contentious plot developments for established characters Рnot to mention unease concerning where the last two episodes will lead Рhave somewhat lessened the eager anticipation which so many fans have revelled in and blogged about these past few months.

Nevertheless, it is thrilling to have NEW Star Wars magic within our grasp once more and, obviously, both of you are itching to read what this first generation fanboy has to say about it, so, away we go…

“It was incredible! The perception of these films is¬†that they’re all planned out on a secret sheet of paper in advance, but that’s just not the case. I wasn’t given an outline of where it goes or even a list of things to hit. It really was just, ‘Okay, what’s next?'” –¬†Rian Johnson.

“Who is Luke Skywalker now?”¬†asked Rian Johnson as he set out to fulfil a dream and write the script for¬†Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

“I grew up with an idea of who Luke was, so¬†the real question was why is Luke on that island? Luke’s no coward… so there must be some reason he’s there that makes sense to him. That was the first nut to crack. The seed for the whole story was inside that shell. I just had to get to it.”

Caught up with Looper (2012)¬†earlier this year, to get acquainted with Johnson’s directorial style. Fortunately, it is an intelligent and fantastic time travel SF thriller,¬†and assured us that Star Wars VIII¬†looked to be in more-than-capable hands. ¬†

From a certain point of view,¬†The Force Awakens¬†was great fun, even though, yes, we didn’t need the rehashed New Hope tropes of another Death Star¬†and “vital information” placed in a droid-unit etc. etc.¬†Unfortunately, the film’s main hindrance lay in JJ Abrams direction.¬†Solo’s demise seemed inevitable, but the whole confrontation between Han and Ben¬†sorely lacked the dramatic heft it deserved.

And although John William’s score was suitably moving as Rey clambered up Skellig Michael to find¬†Luke, this pivotal sequence still looked too bland.¬†This former Archaeology student realised the problem – he instantly recognised the location.¬†Add an extra planet in a sky that maybe should have been tinted a wildly different colour.¬†Maintain the impression that we are indeed in a galaxy far, far away and not just off the coast of Ireland, please…¬†

 

Also, savour again this classic, endearing moment from The Empire Strikes Back:

“Where’s my boyfriend? I like that Wookie” – Maz Kanata.

Let’s face it, Chewie would have stampeded up those Skellig steps faster and more enthusiastically than¬†Rey –¬†not mope around outside the Falcon! Half-expected him to do so, as well!¬†How long is it since he last saw Luke?!¬†Besides, he had just lost his scruffy-lookin’ best buddy, but Abrams NEVER allowed him the screen-time to grieve!¬†

Would not be surprised to discover that our fave Wookie will be similarly underused in The Last Jedi. 

Come ON – let the Wookie scene-steal!

*

Thankfully Рjudging from early reviews, this movie seems to be a positive upgrade, but just poses so many questions: 

Will Rey turn to the Dark Side?

Will Kylo learn the difference between right and Ren? 

Will General Hux really get the most laughs?!

Will this episode answer ANY of these questions (and plenty more too innumerable to type)..?! 

Hello… …?

“Episode eightgosh…¬†The first film didn’t even have a number…” – Anthony Daniels.¬†

 

“It’s the first time I’ve been on set not yet knowing what the character’s gonna look like. I mean, talk about secrecy!” – Andy Serkis. ¬†

For me, it has reached the point where speculation surrounding¬†“Supreme Leader” Snoke¬†supersedes everything else, including that other Starkiller-sized mystery of the galaxy: Rey’s parentage. There is an overwhelming urge to suss out who this creep is – and where he came from.¬†

Presumably, he is very ancient, very powerful. One thing is certain: the name is bogus. Has to be. 

In The Force Awakens, listening to characters as diverse as Leia and Nux saying¬†“Snoke”¬†with a straight face was something else.¬†

However, does the REAL villain of this Episode lurk elsewhere..?

It is telling that Rian Johnson has mentioned how Snoke is the (ahem) snokescreen for where the true drama – and shocks – lie…¬†

The above poster is included here to emphasise the following point.¬†Notice here how Luke is bathed in red: traditionally associated with the Empire. With evil.¬†Also, see how large he looms, as Vader used to do on the OT posters…

Dark Side or not,¬†what intrigues me the most about this episode is learning additional details about the background story of Luke’s quest for the first Jedi temple, and how he lost his padawan – his nephew – to Snoke, thus compelling our hero to retreat in shame(?) to a remote sector of the galaxy.

Tell me, OLD Luke, what brings you out this far… …?¬†

“Oh baby, would I love to play my own evil twin…!¬†We could watch this guy undermining the good guys secretly, maybe even killing a supporting character… And then, of course, the good Luke shows up” –¬† Mark Hamill.¬†

“Are they puffin-like?¬†Are they pug-like…? One, in particular, befriends Chewie. I won’t spoil it, but if you think the ones you’ve seen in the trailer are cute, you have not seen anything yet” – Neal Scanlan.¬†

Difficult to see, the plot is. 

When you consider how¬†Star Wars¬†is now Disney property,¬†it’s all too easy to fear the worst.¬†Your correspondent, regrettably, can see it now:¬†Jedi Master Luke¬†and his plucky porg posse¬†break into Snoke’s Throne Room.¬†

Epic lightsaber duel ensues.

(Hopefully it will NOT be as inspid and seven hours too frickin’ long as that soulless saber-swingfest from Episode III).

Just when the Leader looks to be too Supreme for his own good(bad?) Luke extends his robot hand and Force-propels Snoke back; at the last minute, the villain trips over a wall of porgs, and Рlike Maul and Sidious Рhurtles to his doom down one of those expensive, albeit superfluous, CG-chasms.

Later, as the hangar explodes and disintegrates all around them, and they must go their separate ways,¬†Porg Chief Berni Two-Socks¬†(voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, of course)¬†looks up with those ubercute oversized black eyes, tears a-swellin’, and chirps:

“Gee, Mr. Luke, not bad fer a Longshanks! The boys are gonna miss ya, an’… aww shucks, Ah’m-a gonna miss ya too…”

Trust me, there will NOT be a dry eye in the (full) house…

Uff, typical Disney fluff! 

On second thoughts, methinks mayhap this grizzled ol’ nerfherder should DELAY his trip to the local popcorn parlour this week.¬†And wait to be seriously disappointed in the comfort of his own¬†Sanctum Sanctorum¬†when XIII starts “streamin’ on Nitflex” (or whatever the younglings call that dashfangled gogglebox-contraption)…

“The Last Jedi felt more visceral. The first film felt like a dream” – Daisy Ridley.¬†

Before hitting Publish, it would be fitting to finish with a nice little anecdote from Рoh yes Рa long time ago when ONLY TWO Star Wars movies existed, but for me and my gang of mates, we were just DAYS away from the release of Return Of The Jedi. 

At the time, a British magazine called Voyager – concentrating on movies, model kits and space/astronomy news(!) – published an invaluable article discussing The Genesis Of¬†“The Star Wars.” Reckoned it would be a great service to proclaim that instead of three movies we could – one day – enjoy all NINE episodes¬†of¬†The Journal Of The Whills.

They all looked at me as if Admiral Motti had just dissed The Force. 

Bumfluff growled and hissed bitterly: “Jeez, Brad, you’re so full o’ Bantha doo-doo it’s unreal!”

True story…

It would also be lovely to round off this post by stating that as we all prepare to watch¬†The Last Jedi,¬†it’s nice to know that Brad will be having the last laugh.

But will it – can it – really make for a joyous cinema experience?¬†Yet again, yours truly¬†just can’t¬†bring himself to describe how difficult ’twill be to sit through the¬†late, great Carrie Fisher’s¬†last-ever screen performance.

Definitely, there are grim tidings ahead.¬†Having lost Han Solo in VII, we must prepare for Leia’s fate in this episode, but also – although one does not like to dwell on such disconcerting matters too much – Luke will probably not see the end of IX…

 

WAIT a moisture-farmin’ minute here…¬†

What if Luke gets killed off in VIII?!?! 

What ELSE can account for Mark’s misgivings and¬†the “considerable risks” rumoured to have been taken by Rian with this far, far away material?

Who else has a bad feeling about this?

We must be cautious…

Breathe. Just Breathe… …

 

“What a piece of junk!” – Luke Skywalker.¬†

How fitting that¬†Episode VIII¬†should be released in the year of¬†Star Wars’ 40th Anniversary.¬†

Is it really FORTY YEARS since the world we thought we knew changed forever…?

“…A script arrived on my dressing table. When I opened it and found that it was science fiction I thought: oh crumbs, this is simply not for me…

“The dialogue was pretty ropey, but I had to go on turning the page… That is an essential in any script…” – Alec Guinness.

 

“You May Dispense With The Pleasantries, Commander”: THIS IS IT! BRAD CONFRONTS ZAN DOKA!!

Duel Of The Cakes…

 

This is the Final Episode in the Firm And Shapely Trilogy ‚Äď if you want to catch-up, here are Episode I & Episode II

Good. I can feel your anger. I am defenceless. Take your weapon! Strike me down with all your hatred, and your journey towards the dark side will be complete…” – Emperor Palpatine.¬†

 

BLAZES!

We CAN’T wait any longer! Get ON with it, already!

 

“Command Ztation, zeez eez ZT 3-2-wurn. Code Clearence Blue,” announced the Zandokan pilot as the¬†Zoulzukker approached the Imperial Ztodgeztonker. ¬†

“Ve’re ztarteenk our apprurch. Deactivate ze zecurity jhield!”

A Command Ztation officer¬†watched their approach:¬†“Infirm Lord Zegreatme zat Commandair Zubizmaar hez errift.”

In the Imperial Foyer, the Dark Lord strode towards a turbo-lift, anxiously awaiting its occupants. The doors slid aside and two guards exited, followed by the leader of the Kriegzlide Killzquad and his prisoner, who gazed at Zegreatme with complete calm.

“Zeez eez a Rebel zat zurrendaired to uz. Although he deniez eet, Ay believe zhere may be murr uv zem, end Ay requezt pairmizzun to conduct a furthair zearch uv ze area… He vuz armed… urnly weev zeez.”

The Commander extended his hand, revealing the egg-whisk that¬†the¬†Battleforce Commander-turned-blogger¬†had “borrowed” from the canteen on Wotsit IV;¬†Brad¬†chortled heartily.

“Gourd verk, Commandair. Leaf uz. Conduct yer zairch end breenk heez combpanionz to me.”

“Yez, may Lord.”

Zmutti Zubizmaar and the guards withdrew. The rotten antagonist and the¬†groovy protagonist¬†stood alone in the oddly tranquil beauty of the place… until¬†Zegreatme¬†growled and flung the whisk aside.

“Ze Emprah hez been expecteenk yo,” the Dark Lord muttered as they walked back into the flagship.

“I know, me Lord.”

“Zo,¬†yo hef accepted ze truth zat – hey! – Ay EM Ze Beeg Cheeez-”¬†

“I’ve accepted the truth that you are a big-“

“ENNUV!” They halted abruptly. “DEMN YO, FERTLITTAIR! VHERE’Z MAY VUKKEEN’ ZAMZUNG?” ¬†

“Jeez, Zeggy-baby, haven’tcha got over that yet?!¬†Anyways, it seems ages since we last locked antlers, sotaspeak.¬†Ya know what? I missed ya, Zeg yeah¬†yeah, I’ve actually missed ya, you stormin’ biochemech tosspot, you!¬†Funny thing is… I reckon that… yeah, you kinda missed me too, coochie-coo…” ¬†

The Dark Lord bristled:¬†“UFF…! DURN’T MEK ME DEZTROY YO…”

“Nah-ah, I know ya¬†missed me-”

ZYLENZ! AY VEEL NUT LEEZZEN…”

“…That is why ya couldn’t destroy me. That’s why ya won’t bring me ta yer Emp’ror now-“

“GAH! YO AIR A DEEKWAD, AZ ZE EMPRAH HEZ FURZEEN…”

‚ÄúSearch yer feelin’s, tosspot-‚ÄĚ

“YO DURN’T KNUR ZE PAH UV ZE EMPAH!”

“I feel the conflict wiv- Jeez! That ‘eadache yer givin’ me dahn’ ‘arf split!¬†Let go o’ yer Caps Lock, already! Fer goodness sake, flamin‚Äô Nora‚Ķ”

“Uh, we had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh… everything’s perfectly all right now. We’re fine. We’re all fine here now, thank you. How are you?” – Han Solo.¬†

Just as they rounded a corner, Brad hurled himself into the Dark Lord, sending him clattering and swearing inanely into the wall opposite.

As mad as a bicycle, the reluctant infiltrator dashed off with a gaggle of guards in hot, clanking pursuit. To one side, a door slid up; instinct compelled him to hurl his ripped bod through. He found himself in a sizeable hall Рpenetrating blackness prevented him from sussing out how large. 

A transparent screen – several metres high –¬†met his startled gaze on the port side. Countless glittering stars dazzled his retinas as he gawped into the infinite vastness of¬†space…

“BEHULD!!¬†Ze ultimet pah in ze uneevuzz! End eet eez… ULL MAIN…”¬†

The abrupt, booming voice reverberated malevolently. Your hero slowly turned, and there, in an opulent throne sat the most imposing figure Brad had ever encountered. It was bedecked in brilliant purple biochemech armour, and wrapped in the most extravagant crimson cloak. No head could be seen. That despicable voice emanated from within an oversized, conical silver-plated helmet as worn by the Varlok warlords of olde. 

“ENTAH, Bred Fertlittair! Ay hef been expecteenk yo…”

“Oh, blazes… That voice… That cloak…! Ya gotta be-‚ÄĚ

“Prezizely, Commandair!¬†EMPRAH ZAN DOKA: RULAIR UV ZE UNEEVUZZ!

“Az lung az Ay vield ze PAH COZMEEC, Ay em ULL PAHFUL!¬†Lurng hef Ay ewetted zeez day!¬†Ay vonted to meet ze wun end urnly¬†Kekchairmair…¬†Beefur heez eeneviteble extairmeenation, heh heh heh…¬†Prepare to meet thy DOME, Urfmairn!!”

“Who talks first? You talk first? I talk first…?” – Poe Dameron.

“Wherevair Ay look,¬†ze Rebel bandz air zcattered end demurelized¬†acrozz ze ztarz…

“Eet ezz urnly a mattair uv tem beefur yer peeteeful leetle bend air crujt, end¬†may gallant furzez march to ze vinal veectory!”

“Pfah, YOU… are the one ‘oo’s doomed,¬†Zan –¬†we may be few, we may be poor, but the Rebellion’ll be the end o’ ya – of that, ya can be sure!”

“Ha! Nut even yer louzy poetry ken harm me!”¬†Emperor Zan Doka sneered.

“Yer gravely mistaken, Chief… Ya really think that yer despicable ideology o’ hate will prevail…?¬†‘Ere, check it aht: as long as dudes like me stand oop ta the likes uvya-“

“Laike yo?! Heh, yer NUTHEENK,¬†Bred!¬†Juzt a homelezz zupairmudel weev a blaztair!”

“Huh, an’ you are a-”¬†

“ENNUV!¬†AIR, Lurd Zegreatme! Ve vood be honaired eef yo cood jurroin uz…!”

Brad sensed a gargantuan fella lumber in to stand beside him.

“Eet eez UNWAZ to queztion ze Rulair Uv Ze Uneevuzz, Urfmairn…”¬†Zegreatme grumbled.

“Oh yeah? I’d like to see how far ya get wivaht him strainin’ on yer leash, Zeg-“

“Urgh yeah? Ay’ll ZTRAIN YO unteel yo tell me VOT yo deed wiv may VUKKEEN’ ZAMZUNG, Bred!”¬†

“Ya know what?!¬†I shoulda shoved it in yer Imperial Cake’ole! Blimey, it’s bloomin’ big enough! Then ya’ll be sure NEVAH ta lose it!”

“Yo knur vot?!¬†Ay’m gonna LOOZ EET een a meenut, Urfzcurm!¬†BAY SHOVEEN’ YO OAT ZE VUKKEEN’ AIRLOCK!!”

“Huh, try it,¬†coochie-coo. Just try…”¬†¬†

“ZVIVEL ME ZYDWEZ!!” the Emperor roared.¬†“Vood yo juzt LEEZEN to ze pair uv yaz?!¬†JEEZ! Yo two verr MEDD fer each uzzair!¬†How ken ve rezturr peaz end belendz to ze¬†Uneevuzz wiv yo DEEPWEETZ conztently beeckaireeng, heh? HEH?! JEEZ!!”¬†

“Fergeev me, may Mazter…”

“NUR! Ay zwear! Yo two veel be ze deff uv me! Ay ken juzt enveezage¬†ze pair uv yaz teemeeng urp end ovairthroweeng me!”¬†

Brad’s cute eyes lit up.¬†

“‘Ey!! Tha’s a thought…” he whispered, nudging¬†the Dark Lord playfully in the ribs.¬†“Whaddya say, Zeggy-baby?! Why dahn’ we team oop an’ take dahn this-“

“NUR!¬†‘OW DARE YO, URFMAIRN! AY VEEL NEVAIR TURRRN EGENZT MAY MAZTER, FOOL!!”

“We can DO this! Come ON…! Aow ya picked one ‘elluva time ta turn yella, fella…”¬†

“ZYLENZ! YO DARE CALL ZE DAKK LURD UV ZAN DOKA A COWARD?! VUKKIT, BRED, WUN MURR WYZAZZ LINE FROM YO EN’ AY VEEL HEET YO ZO VUKKEEN’ ‘ARD, YO’LL BE VLYEENK!!”

“WOO…! You EAT CAKE wiv that mouth?!”¬†

“JEEZ, zhere yo two gur… EGEN!”¬†wailed the exasperated Zan Doka.¬†“Dyzan demmit!¬†Deedn’t ze pair uv yaz hear me ze virzt tem?! ‘OO eez Emprah eround ‘ere? HELLUR…?!¬†‘Oneztly!¬†Zeez beekkereeng eez geeveenk me en ‘eadache!”¬†

“YOU got a split’er?!”¬†Brad¬†cried in dismay.¬†“‘Ow’d ya think I feel?! ‘Ad nuthin’ but grief given ta me by the pair uv yers ever since I wuz brough’ ‘ere!”

Brad’s cute eyes lit up again.¬†

“It- say! We do ‘ave some’t in common! ‘Ey!! Tha’s a thought…¬†Whaddya say, Big-Wig? Why dahn’ we team oop an’ take dahn ol’ lanky Lordy Fog’orn ‘ere? Like, I’m easy, either way, man…”

“ENNUV!”¬†th Emperor roared once more.¬†“Yo TRY oor patienze ULL TOO QUEEKLY, Fertlittair! Yo VEEL be zentenzed to deff!”

“Come again?”

“DEFF!!”

Yer overconfidence is yer weakness,”¬†exclaimed¬†Brad.

The Emperor spun round and spat: Yer zoftzpotz fer peenball macheeenz end kek eez yerz…”

Zegreatme¬†nudged¬†Brad mockingly in the ribs and whispered:¬†“Eet eez purrntlezz to rezeezt… DEEKWAD…”

“Power is the only freedom that I seek. Absolute power is absolute freedom” – Omega.¬†

“Lord Zeg, leave uz,”¬†Emperor Zan Doka exclaimed.

“Ez yo weesh, may Mazter…”

The Dark Lord bowed ostentatiously, but snarled at¬†Brad¬†before departing:¬†“Zee yo latair, deekwad…”

“Yeah, already missin’ ya, Dork Lard…”¬†the¬†Battleforce Commander-turned-blogger¬†drawled as he watched his arch-nemesis depart.

“Nice. Gotta hand it to ya, Chief; tha’s one well-trained poodle ya got there. Foul-mouf’ed, lousy tempah per’aps, but still, nice…”

Brad froze, staring at a delectable object on a stand beside the¬†Emperor’s throne.¬†

‚ÄúYo vont zeez…” The Emperor snarled, turning to regard a slice of chocolate cake¬†with abject scorn.¬†“Durn’t yo…?”

‚ÄúThat’s… that’s a slice o’ me fave! You can sense that…?”

“Zenze it?! Ay ken hear yer ztomach rumblin’ frurm ‘ere, Urfmairn!”

“An’ ‘oo’s fault is that,¬†Chief…?¬†Blazes… ya enforce blockades; annex ‘ole planets; subjugate – even xterminate – entire species!¬†All the while, thousands… oh Dyzan, millions… are starvin’! They despair!¬†They ‘oller!¬†They curse ya!¬†An’ wotcha doin’, all the while…? ‘Oldin’ fancy dress parades? Openin’ new Imperial space stations…? Playin’ golf…?!”

“Nur, Ay rule!”¬†

“Nah, YOU SUCK!!¬†Ya really think that I’m jus’ gonna lounge arahn’ an’ let ya torment the galaxy wiv yer… yer-“

All of a sudden, your hero felt a tingling sensation in his mind as the Emperor held aloft his long, spell-casting talons.

“Yezzz, yo VONT TO TEK ZE PLAZ BAY MAY ZIDE… Yo VONT to eet ze kek, Bred… EEET… ZE… KEK…”

“Uh… yeah, man… I wanna eet ze… ‘ang on…!”¬†Brad¬†shook his head,¬†holding the tasty-looking wodge in his gloved hand, sniffing it.¬†

“Uff… poisoned!”¬†he roared and hurled it angrily at the Emperor.¬†“Think ya can fool the Cakecharmer ‘imself wiv dodgy bakes, eh?!”

The Emperor struck back:¬†“Eef yo veel nut be turned, yo veel be-!”

“‘OLD! ‘Ang abaht, Zan – I got a bet’er idea… …”¬†

“Put down your weapons! No one, but no one, dies in the palace without a command from the Emperor” – Klytus.

“GAH! VUKK!!” the Emperor roared as he burst out of his own throne room into the main corridor, throwing frustrated Imperial arms in the air. “VERDS FAIEEL ME!!”

Zegreatme and the Praetorian Guards sprang to attention.

“Zat Urfmairn… eez ‘ard verk, iz’e nut, may Mazter?”

“Ya ken zay ZAT eggen, Zeg! VUKK, ‘e’z zumzeenk elze…¬†Een ULL MAY DAYZ, Ay hef NEHVAIR beefur met ‘ee’z laike…”¬†Emperor Zan Doka grumbled.

“Vot eez thy biddeeng, may Mazter?”

Uff… vukk knowz… Vot muzt wun do agenzt ze PAIRFECT combeenation¬†uv¬†pecz, abz en’ bunz…¬†GAH! Vot KEN wun DO against zuch a… ZUCH A- GAH…!”

“Do nut fret,¬†Mazter,”

“Nur worries… Lord Zegreatme! Zhere eez zumzeenk trubbleen’ me… Pat yer head…”

“May Mazter…? Ay do NUT undairztand…”

“Do nut look zo zairprized, Lurdy –¬†Pat yer head… Know, rub ze tummy at ze zame tem-“

“But VHY, Mazter…?!”

“GAH! VUKK! DO NUT QUEZTION YER EMPRAH! HOW MENNY TEMZ MUZT AY TELL YO NERKZ, HEH?!¬†HEH, jeez…”

“Fergeev me, Mazter; ez yo veesh,¬†May Mazter…”

“HA!! Yo KEN do eet! Ay knew eet; I KNEW IT! Ha…! That’s one thing I can’t abide¬†about¬†you extremistsyer ALL shout, an’ NAH clout. Jus’ a sad bunch o’ blind, obedient automatons.¬†‘Oo¬†NEVAH question authority; ya CAN’T even exhibit yer own initiative!¬†YOU are the lot who will meet thy DOME! DONUTS… the lot o’ ya…”

“May Mazter, vot…?!”

“Nutheenk yo ken get ta greepz weev, Zeg… Oh! Wun murr theeng…¬†Remove the blockades from Gondabek, Otthon IV and¬†Burgonya. Oh!¬†And – while you’re at it – withdraw the garrisons from Oberon and Shazbot…! And Tufluk!¬†‘Tiz yer Emprah’s weel! EDVENZ EET!¬†KNOW…!

“Ze Urfwomairn!¬†She’z urn ze Detention Levil – Ay VONT to zee hair! Tek ME to ‘AIR, zumbuddy!!”

One Shokk Trooper stepped confidently forwards: “Shee eez held een Cell wurn-wurn-3-8.¬†Let me ezcurt yo, Yer Highness!”

“Gourd… GOURD! A faine example uv Eemperial deezcipline, zeez boy!¬†Lead URN, Troopair…!¬†Mek ware, MEK WARE!¬†Rulair uz ze Freeken’ Uneevuzz, comeen’ thro…”

And with that, they marched away down the corridor.

Rounding a corner, away from any Imperial bods,¬†the Emperor noticed a couple of curiosities: clearly, this individual seemed too short to be a Shokk Trooper; and a most-recent blast point could clearly be seen on his right pec…

He stopped the¬†Trooper in his tracks, and exclaimed:¬†“Zhere eez zumzeenk… very femeeliair¬†aboat¬†zet voice… Yo zed “Yer Highnessss…”¬†

The Ruler of the Universe looked up and down the corridor, ensuring that they were indeed alone. Then he reached over, and – clasping the shocked Trooper‘s shoulder¬†and jigging it a lil¬†– began to speak in a more groovy voice:

“It… IS you, innit… Bagel…?¬†Thank Dyzan, I thought ya wuz a goner!¬†SO GOOD¬†ta see ya again, kid… …”

“Go and seek out Baltar. Tell him I am displeased. Tell him I offer a choice: deliver the Battlestar… or deliver his head” –¬†Cylon Imperious Leader.¬†

“Blimey, Commander!¬†Ya jus’ gotta tell me ‘ow ya got ‘old o’ th Emperor’s cloak!”¬†Bagel¬†enthused as the two Rebels marched towards the Detention Level.¬†

“Aww, this is an awesome piece o’ snazzy clobber, innit?¬†Nah worries, kid! Ya see, it wuz like this: we-“

“HALT! Ze pair uv yo!”¬†shouted the armed, female Zandokan sentry as they rounded the next corner.¬†She¬†scowled at the Emperor, aiming her blaster ominously…

“We-heh-hell! This is TOO GOOD to be true…¬†I’m not standin’ for the likes a’ you… Your Slyness… HEY!¬†What are you starin’ at me like THAT for…?! I’m gonna-!”¬†

“WETT!” cried the young Trooper.¬†“Durn’t yo knur who yo air deeeleenk wiv ‘ere?!”

“Why should I give a fudge…?”

Abruptly, the “Emperor” flung off his helmet.¬†“‘Cos I dragged me firm an’ shapely buns across the Imperial Lightnin’ Field ta getcha, LEX!”

“What-?! BRAD?! But how…?” his Second Officer cried as she flung off her helmet.

“Ya bally well know I’ve always got a plan as ‘ot as me pants…!¬†But what the blazes are ya doin’ in that get-up-?”

“Uff, look who’s blabbin’…”

“Ya’ll never get quali’y screen toime masqueradin’ as a ‘Trooper, lov…”¬†

“Yeah? Well, I didnt plan to just hang around in a cell actin’ out that tired ol’ damsel-in-distress clich√©-!”

“Yeah? Well, I didnt plan ta sit arahn’ on me firm an’ shapely buns jus’ worryin’ abahtcha!”¬†

“Well, cheers for your concern, Commander…”¬†She turned to the Trooper and gleered:¬†“And I suppose, right here, we have, none other than…?”

The Trooper flung off his helmet. “Bagel Looney, atcha service, ma’am!”

“Ugh! Put that helmet back ON! I risked my neck all for… this?! Really –¬†too short for a Shokk Trooper?”

Aow, bloomin’ ‘eck, don‚Äôt you start…!”

It- say! Where’d you get THIS?!”¬†Lexi gasped, fondling the rich sheen of¬†Brad’s¬†new crimson velvet wrap.¬†

“Who’dya think? ‘E’s th only one ya can get it from…”

“Yes, but HOW DID YOU get hold of th Emperor’s cloak?!”

“Aww, this is an awesome piece o’ snazzy clobber, innit?¬†Nah worries, lov! Ya see, it wuz like this: we-“

“DEMN YO, FERTLITTAIR!! YO TRIED TO FOOL ZEGREATME?!”

“Uh oh…”

The Imperial tannoy crackled and whined up and down the corridor; Brad’s headache throbbed even more, as his arch-nemesis bellowed maniacally. ¬†

“BY ZE PAH UV ZE EMPAH, YO VEEL PAY FER ZEEZ OATREJ!!”

“Gawd…! Lays it on a bit thick, doesn’t he?!”¬†Lexi gasped.

“Uff, tell me abaht it…” Brad groaned.¬†“This gaff reeks o’ faschismus, dunnit?! An’ I’ve ‘ad this pair a’ barmy biochemech barnpots screamin’ in me lug’oles¬†all mornin’…¬†Come on, amigos, let’s gerrahtav’ere!”¬†

They raced away; six legs encased in biochemech armour – it made such an awful racket…¬†

“‘ERE! VHEREZEVUKK YO GO?! AY VEEL NUT LET Y’ULL EZKEP!!”

“‘Ow we gonna get aht?!” worried Bagel, as they reached the overcrowded Imperial Flight Deck.¬†“We can’t jus’ nab a new crate under these nerks’ noses-“

“Aww, no worries, Bagel! YES, WE CAN! Wiv me badass cloak an’ flawless Zandokan accent, we’re gonna nab the¬†‘Ead ‘Ombre’s own crate:¬†the Zentinel.”

“Huh, you sure your buns can get that far weighed down in all that armour?”¬†Lexi¬†frowned sceptically.¬†“Whatever you do,¬†don’t trip over your cloak… Your Highness…”

“Heh, sweet… Ta fer th tip, Officer!¬†Okey dokey, those bozos bet’er bewareRuler O’ Th Frickin’ Universe, comin’ through-“

Just as Brad jumped out to expose himself, Lexi tugged him back and sprinted stealthily across the concourse.

Bagel¬†gawped as – silently, shockingly – she made mincemeat of the ground crew:¬†“Who is she…?! She’s… beautiful…”

“Wakey, frickin’ wakey, oor kid!” Brad swiped the lovestruck lad gently over the head. “Yes… YES! She’s opened the ‘atch! C’mon, Boy Blunder, we’re movin’ in!”

Through volleys of laser-fire, the dynamic duo bungled aboard just as the hatch began to close – at least, the youngest fella made it onto th bridge…

“This bucket o’ bolts is never gonna g- Brad?!”¬†Lexi yelled.¬†“What the blazes are you doing back there?!”

“‘Arf a tick, lov,” he shouted. “I got me cloak stuck in the door…”¬†

“…I’ve never before met your like. You’re a hero, don’t you see that…? You really prefer death to a kingdom? I’m disappointed. I’d much rather see you on my side, than scattered into… atoms… but, as you wish…” – Emperor Ming The Merciless. ¬†

“PUNCH IT, LEX!”¬†the¬†Battleforce Commander-turned-blogger¬†(eventually) wailed,¬†and the colossal ion engines of the Imperial Zentinel¬†shuddered and howled into life.¬†Within seconds, the tired – but triumphant – trio found themselves zooming away from the¬†Imperial flagship.¬†And… YES!¬†As expected, whenever Zan Doka’s vessel blasts off,¬†the Imperial Lightning Field¬†is automatically deactivatedHUZZAH!

On-board, Brad¬†flopped into the co-pilot’s seat next to Lexi.

“Whoopee-doo, we did it…! Hey, whaddya think: Bagel in the Company-“

“No, NO!!” the Officer swung round and fumed.¬†“No WAY¬†is¬†that weasel becoming one of us! Goldarn it, Brad!¬†You’re STILL smarting over losing¬†Mitch. I know; heck, we all are… he was… irreplaceable.¬†This reckless little…! He’s NEVER going to make the grade. You saw yourself¬†how reckless he is…¬†Teach him not to endanger the rest of the Militia, if you want to, but NOT on the Calista! Not near us!”

“Uh-huh – not near YOU ya mean…”

“You GOTCHA, Commander…”¬†

“Received… an’ un’erstood…”

Brad¬†sauntered off to salivate over the gleaming Imperial Coffee-Maker while Bagel fiddled with the¬†Imperial Zuperduper Ztereozoundzyztem,¬†loading some blisteringly dark and grungy drum n’ bass.¬†Brad peered in and a big dopey grin spread across his handsome chops:¬†“Excellente!¬†Those are the same kicks-as-a-mule beats I listened ta when I wuz your age, kid!”¬†

“Gawd, are you boys gonna be¬†headbanging all the way back to base?”

“Sure, Lex!” Bagel chirped. “Why the ‘eck not?! Wanna dance… babe…?”

“Uff, just a finger-lickin’ minute, here…”¬†Lexi bristled, rising menacingly out of the pilot’s seat.¬†“Just who do you think YOU are calling ‘babe’, Bumfluff…?!”¬†

Of course,¬†the¬†Battleforce Commander-turned-blogger¬†had to wade in and settle the dispute:¬†“Now then! Now now! What’s goin’ on ‘ere, now? Then…?¬†Let’s NOT end this adventure wiv anuvva foight, puh-lease!¬†Be cool!

“Lex! Chill, lov.

“Bagel! Manners, puppy…”

Before settling back for the long journey home, your hero relayed a quick message to the Ztodgeztonker:

“ATTENTION, dipwits!

Uh, situation normal groovy.

If ya still want yer Tosspot-In-Chief, I left ‘im on the Garbage Level;¬†the dinner is in the cat; an’ – ah yeah! – I left a Sonic Disruptor in the [CONNECTION LOST]

Thanks fer ‘avin’ me! LOL¬†

CHEERS! 

Deke Wad ūüėČ

X

“You came in that thing? You’re braver than I thought…”Princess Leia Organa.

BRAD FARTLIGHTER WILL RETURN

 

Norse Mode: The Rough Guide To Thor: Ragnarok

Thank Fudge It’s Thorsday!

This’ll Be SUCH FUN!

“I’m not overly fond of what follows…” – Loki. ¬†

“In a world of portentous blockbusters getting ever darker, it’s a joy to see one throwing on the disco lights.”

And that happened to be just the first review¬†of¬†Thor: Ragnarok –¬†set to be the biggest – and most entertaining – of the solo Thor movies.¬†Here, the Mighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against The Hulk, his former ally. The God of Thunder¬†must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful HelaGoddess of Death – from destroying¬†Asgard.¬†

In Norse mythology, Ragnarok is translated as Twilight of the Gods. The myth tells of the eventual destruction of the universe and mankind, as well as the deaths of several key figures in Norse Mythology, such as the gods Odin, Thor, Loki, Heimdall et al. 

So…

Billed as a fun and funny, colourful and crazy cosmic caper… Thor: Ragnarok just MIGHT kill off a bunch of main characters?!

Hmm, more than any other Marvel movie, it will be¬†interesting to see how¬†this latest MCU instalment plays with our emotions,¬†as well as juggling with our expectations…

“Hela is the Goddess of Death, and I’ve had incredible fun playing her” – Cate Blanchett.

“Oh, I’ve missed this!”¬†rasps Hela, Goddess of Death, strikingly played by¬†Cate Blanchett.¬†

That could be Brad gleefully uttering that line as it seems ages since we were treated to a blockbuster that turned out to be just an inoffensive, energetic and entertaining slice of escapist fantasy fare. 

As you may have already gathered, Hela is one of my All-Time Fawe Comic Book Characters. She first mesmerised me in a poetic and moving Tales Of Asgard that accompanied The Mighty Thor #314, (Hela Рthe Goddess of Death Рhas wrought havoc in Valhalla, twisting it into the icy foreboding image of her own dreaded kingdom: Niffleheim. Only the bold and sagacious intervention of Odin РRuler of the Gods Рsaves Asgard).

During this past year alone, numerous classic Thor ishs (specifically featuring Hela)¬†have come my way – the depth of her characterisation is astonishing.¬†How far¬†Thor: Ragnarok¬†will delve into her character, and not rely on just malevolent quips and badass fight sequences, remains my primary concern.¬†Visionary director:¬†Taika Waititi¬†(he prefers to be referred to as a visionary director, or better still: “visionist”!)¬†assures us that, as Marvel’s first female movie villain:¬†“Cate has destroyed the idea of your typical villain.”

In the original comics,¬†Hela is Loki’s daughter.¬†Now, bet you all the groats on Sakaar: the makers have twisted this – she’s become Odin’s¬†(disowned) daughter; this, at least, would help explain how she was able, so dramatically in the first Trailer, to catch – and breakMjolnir.¬†(But hey, Lord of Dipwits here managed to guess only 1.5 out of 14 on the¬†Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 Soundtrack¬†so proceed with caution!)

Hela is: “not a queen, or a monster, she’s the Goddess of Death!”

And your correspondent is still so looking forward to seeing how she is brought to life on the big screen!

“Thor finds out much about his family and tries to save his planet and the universe, while overcoming the machinations of a grand funny fun figure such as myself” –¬†Jeff Goldblum

“Hey, Sparkles! Here’s the deal. You wanna get back to As-place? Asberg?”

Yes,¬†Jeff Goldblum – verily, for it is he! –¬†speaks this line while portraying (quite flamboyantly, it has to be said)¬†the Grandmaster,¬†an immortal trickster¬†who maintains control over the populace of¬†Sakaar¬†by giving them a constant fix of gladiatorial games.¬†Sakaar looks like an irresistibly¬†fizzy and candy-colourful addition to the MCU – it’s the sort of galactic world one always wanted to see on the big screen.

The Grandmaster¬†is a villain who stormed into my Marvel collection last year¬†via (reprints of) The Avengers.¬†The storyline in which¬†the Grandmaster¬†transports Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to his¬†arena¬†to fight a team of super-villains: Contest Of Champions,¬†provided the core element of this movie.

You’d think that playing a blue-skinned alien would pose no challenge for Jeff as he has already played one way back in¬†Earth Girls Are Easy (1988);¬†but his Hollywood clout has spared him the ignominy of that daily five-hour make-up job; instead, he sports a snazzy lil blue splodge on his chin.

Just seen a hilarious exclusive clip, concerning the “Lord” of Thunder(!)¬†and it so happens to be¬†Classic Comedy Gold(blum)!¬†Actually, as it turns out,¬†Jeff¬†is quite the “Grandmaster” when it comes to improvisation.¬†Apparently, the majority of his lines ended up being randomly improvised, to the full consent of the director. Forever the visionary.

Jeff “Must Go Faster, Must Go Faster!” Goldblum Forever!¬†

If the rest of his scenes are anything to go by, it sounds like the Power of ROFL will be unleashed!

Let’s hope so! ūüôā

“NO TEAM, ONLY HULK!” –¬†HULK.

And, of course, how could we get through this guide without the big, green fella. After all, this cosmic caper was billed as Thor vs. Hulk. 

Not only did this movie present Chris Hemsworth with the opportunity to refresh the character of Thor,¬†it gave Mark Ruffalo the chance to reinvent the portrayal of the Green Goliath.¬†As we saw in the Trailer, Hulk¬†is allowed to speak a lot more. It seems like he will have more lines in this movie than both Avengers movies put together!¬†Here, we get to see the premise of¬†Planet Hulk –¬†the Incredible one is a champion gladiator on a distant alien planet: in this case it’s Sakaar; it’ll be intriguing to learn how he got there…

Let’s not forget that cameo appearance by the Hulk’s fellow Defender:¬†Doctor Strange.¬†How and where¬†Stephen (the ever-immaculate Benedict Cumberbatch, of course!)¬†will appear in this movie is a particularly perplexing matter –¬†actually the thought of dear Bennybatch being underused here is a slightly disorientating one…¬†

Last, but by oh no means least(!)¬†is¬†that essential¬†Stan Lee¬†cameo. Betcha he’s the Demon Barber of Sakaar – the one who shears the godly Goldilock’s locks! ūüėȬ†

For me, what’s so cool about each movie of¬†the Marvel Cinematic Universe¬†is¬†its boldness in¬†reinvigorating the whole concept of what a comic book movie should look – and feel – like.¬†Kudos to Kevin Feige et al for daring to select the most unexpected talent of¬†visionary director Taika Waititi¬†and allowing him to imbue this unique and harmless 130 mins bundle of fun with the¬†“kind of energy and¬†crazy sort of Flash Gordony-tone that it has.”¬†

Oh yes, get that energy. 

Chris¬†admitted:¬†“This was one of the best experiences I’ve had on a set.¬†We laughed way too much.”

With unanimous positive feedback from the preliminary round of film reviews, it sounds like we will be¬†laughing way too much too…¬†

“I tried to start a revolution… but I didn’t print enough pamphlets!” – Korg.¬†

“Basically what they were saying was like: “We‚Äôre a bit tired of, um, you know, this fish-out-of-water thing with Thor on Earth”, you know? So why not go towards the direction of the comic books from the Seventies and Eighties and have Thor on a cosmic adventure, you know?” –¬†Taika Waititi.¬†

“I‚Äôd loved Iron Man, you know, with a passion. I thought that was the most fresh, cool thing, in terms of superhero movies, that I‚Äôd seen in a long time,” said¬†Taika Waititi,¬†the (visionary) director of¬†Thor: Ragnarok.¬†

“I don‚Äôt know what they were smoking when they were writing those storylines [in the 70s],” he continued,¬†“but they had some pretty wacky ideas in those old comic books.”

With such critically-acclaimed comedies such as¬†What We Do In The Shadows and Hunt For The Wilderpeople,¬†Taika¬†has carved his own¬†pretty wacky niche in movies, so his brand of humour seems well suited to the MCU.¬†And if his helmsmanship was¬†not enough,¬†he did his own motion-capture performance as never-before-seen-on-the-big-screen¬†Korg the Kronan.¬†This rock-skinned supporting character, who made his debut in the Planet Hulk comic, was described by¬†Taika as:¬†“hard on the outside, and gentle like a marshmallow smudged together with daffodils on the inside.”¬†Wow, an alien with a New Zealand accent. Now this is something we need to see… ¬†

Taika also proposed the idea of including Led Zep on the soundtrack:

“I put together a sizzle reel… because there was no storyline, or anything… I don‚Äôt really know what I‚Äôm going for, so I‚Äôll just get shots from movies I think are cool [laughs] – the energy and the colour and sort of what might look cool for this film. And I put Immigrant Song over the top of it, and then played it for them.

“And they were like, “Oh that‚Äôs really cool. That‚Äôs a cool song. What‚Äôs that?”

“I was like, [deadpan] “It‚Äôs Immigrant Song, Led Zeppelin – one of the most famous songs of all time.”

“They were like, ‚ÄúOh cool, never heard it before, very cool.”

“And I was like, “Oh fuck, really worried now.” But from the start we‚Äôd always talked about using Immigrant Song in the film, because it just makes perfect sense for that character, doesn‚Äôt it?”

Aaah, AH,
We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
The hammer of the gods
Will drive our ships to new lands,
To fight the horde, singing and crying:
Valhalla, I am coming!
On we sweep with threshing oar,
Our only goal will be the western shore. Aaah, AH”¬†

Led Zeppelin РImmigrant Song. 

Valkyrie: “This team of yours, it got a name?”

Thor: “Yeah, it’s called the… uh… Revengers!”

“It was all great stuff to do. I had a ball. I only wish that I’d been in it longer” – Sir Anthony Hopkins.¬†

 

Blade Runner 2049: The Bradscribe Review

Future Perfect? More Sequel Than Sequel…?

“This is not some clunky franchise-farmed cash-in… With all the art and craft of the original, Denis Villeneuve has… gotten down and dirty in the gene pool, marinated in its enzymes, slept in its bed and dreamt its dreams. And then he’s gone to work” – The Sunday Times. ¬†

“I want more¬†life!”¬†demanded¬†Roy Batty,¬†the peculiar, but poetic, doomed replicant from the classic original¬†Blade Runner.¬†

Well – after all this time –¬†should that masterpiece,¬†one of the greatest – and self-contained – SF classics¬†reviewed here:¬†have been granted an extension of its existence?

Remarkably, these past few weeks, some critics have argued that Blade Runner 2049 has surpassed the original, taking the issues of humanity, genetics and identity to whole new astounding levels. 

Now, considering how this blogger included himself as one of those teeming masses baulking at a “new”¬†Blade Runner¬†movie, it is¬†a¬†revelation – not to mention a relief –¬†to¬†report¬†that¬†Blade Runner 2(049)¬†has¬†turned out to be a surprisingly engrossing¬†visual and¬†emotional experience.

“Despite all the overlaps, this is not a simulacrum of a Ridley Scott film. It is unmistakably a Denis Villeneuve film, inviting us to tumble, tense with anticipation, into his doomy clutches” – The New Yorker.

The plot of¬†Blade Runner 2049¬†begins with¬†Ryan Gosling,¬†turning in an appropriately vacant and artificial presence¬†as a new Runner: K (as in Philip K. Dick?),¬†paying a visit¬†to the isolated warehouse/abode¬†of¬†Dave Bautista’s¬†Sapper Morton –¬†retired from the rumble-tumble world of WWF to a barren sector of the Californian wasteland to Grow Green Stuff, Man.¬†What the officer’s surveillance equipment discovers onsite leads to the main plot development: K questioning the nature of his own existence –¬†“basically Pinocchio with more eco-pollution”¬†as one reviewer rather facetiously described it.

When we eventually get to see the Main Man/Replicant/? Himself,¬†it’s nice to see¬†Villeneuve¬†honour that traditional sci-fi dystopian trope¬†of the protagonist wandering into somebody else’s gaff without even a knock or a “Yoohoo!”

As tired and drawn as the world he now (barely) inhabits,¬†Deckard¬†cuts a haggard, whiskey-slugging figure, with only a dog and a holographic Elvis¬†to keep him company.¬†Perhaps Ford’s finest performance in years.¬†

That wasn’t a real dog… was it?¬†

Shame it wasn’t a sheep – that would’ve been neat.¬†No, seriously,¬†in the novel, Rick Deckard¬†keeps an artificial sheep on his roof, and only takes the job to retire those wayward¬† Nexus-6 replicants¬†so that he can afford to buy a real domesticated ruminant mammal with a thick woolly coat… ¬†

“The question at Blade Runner 2049’s pulsating heart has no glib answer… With dazzling adroitness, [Villeneuve] has built on Scott’s legacy to create something grander in scope and emotional range” – London Evening Standard.¬†

What about the Soundtrack? 

There¬†are no¬†exceptional tracks here –¬†nothing to compare to Vangelis’ sumptuous Blade Runner Blues, the sensuality of the Love Theme, the achingly beautiful¬†Memories Of Green,¬†or¬†the sweeping grandeur of Harps Of The Ancient Temples –¬†regrettably, the score is just as equally soulless as its artificial antagonists…

There is another unsettling observation concerning¬†Blade Runner 2049¬†that has largely gone unmentioned in other reviews.¬†In this post post-feminist “society” women can look forward – ha! – to not much in the way of beneficial or progressive roles.¬†There are some strong female characters –¬†who can forget Sylvia Hoeks’ “Luv”?¬†Robin Wright¬†is enjoying a promising upturn in her career – here she plays K’s superior:¬†Lieutenant Joshi,¬†in an interesting, but underused, performance.

Apparently,¬†Blade Runner 2049¬†fails the¬†Bechdel Test¬†i.e. can two female characters share the screen and NOT have a conversation¬†about¬†a man?¬†Morover, this movie just falls short of the¬†Bradscribe Test,¬†specifically: are there 3-4 lines cool or snazzy enough to be quoted herein?¬†When you consider how¬†the¬†original movie positively brims with terrific lines and conversations, sill fondly remembered and quoted 35 years later…

The virtual love interest is brought to you by¬†Joi (Ana de Armas), a hypnotic beauty,¬†but then, she would need to be a top-of-the-range model distracting enough to make any man (or woman?)¬†forget that they exist in a murky dystopia beset with biospheric collapse, child labour camps, distracting neon billboards¬†and¬†Jared Leto –¬†blind, bearded and as bonkers as a bat –¬†ruling the roost from his ambient asylum,¬†inflicting poor, unsuspecting souls with his unintelligible pseudobabble.¬†His (mis)casting as¬†Niander Wallace¬†is perhaps my biggest grumble¬†with this otherwise captivating movie.

Tell you what: going for a spin in his spinner, tha last thing¬†Brad¬†(hopefully not looking as old and thoroughly dischuffed as¬†Harrison Ford¬†does here)¬†will want is to be distracted by a 50 foot holographic ballerina¬†pirouetting past the bally windscreen, thank you very much…

“Blade Runner 2049 has been made with impeccable craftsmanship and taste, yet the film is so terrified of disreputability that it renders itself dead from the waist down, unable to derive pleasure even from a theoretically kinky robot three-way” – Slant Magazine.

Will 2049 end up matching – or even surpassing – its predecessor’s revered status in the pantheon of SF greats?¬†

Well, no. 

Look at its core components: more bleak, more brutal,¬†less memorable and less inspiring – can these really be considered to be superior traits…?

Certainly not. 

Those folks who reckon this movie supersedes the original are merely revelling (somewhat prematurely) in¬†hype.¬†Nevertheless, during all the time we were suppressing the prospect of a sequel, little did¬†we know¬†that such a wondrous filmmaker as¬†Denis¬†Villeneuve¬†could even exist…

“You’ve never seen a miracle,”¬†Sapper Morton¬†mumbles before being wiped off the cast list.¬†Considering how much the audience were fidgeting, yawning and groaning throughout¬†2049’s 2hrs, 44 mins¬†(unlike the spinners, time doesn’t fly in this hazy, amber-tinted future),¬†it¬†looked like they were being hard-pushed to find anything exceptional in this languid concoction.¬†

Always¬†keen to watch more sophisticated, less action-stuffed film fare, my patience, however, was awarded with incredible visuals,¬†an extraordinary narrative atmosphere,¬†and the¬†golden opp of seeing –¬†no matter how grumpy he looks these days –¬†the Ford Legend grace the big screen once more…

In answer to the question: “would you recommend it?” it strikes me as being one of those movies absolutely magnificent to watch¬†once,¬†but fails to incite¬†the¬†urge to pay it numerous viewings.¬†Guess one misses that rain-soaked Chinatown and those fire-spewing ziggurats of good ol’ 2019 a tad too much…¬†

Brad doesn’t know how long it will take to get round¬†to watching¬†Blade Runner 2049¬†a second time.

Who does…?

 

BRADSCRIBE VERDICT: 

4 out of 5 glittering C-beams, but ooooh, only just…

 

“I was quit when I come in here, Bryant, I’m twice as quit now” –¬†Rick Deckard.

 

Voight-Kampff Test Retaken: Blade Runner: The Bradscribe Rereview

Is This To Be An Empathy Test?

“Memories. You’re talking about memories…” – Rick Deckard. ¬†

“Blade Runner is such an amazing movie. A mesmerising mix of sci-fi, action and film noir, it is quite unlike anything you have seen before…” were my words used to describe this seminal SF masterpiece,¬†back in 1986.¬†That school project required us to produce our own magazine. At last! Something to really engage my interests and talents.

The result: Film File –¬†twenty pages, crammed with reviews and profiles written in different coloured ink –¬†was awarded A+ by my gobsmacked English teacher.¬†Blade Runner¬†had had its TV premiere that year, and my VHS copy was swiftly getting worn out at an exponential rate.¬†Naturally, consumed by Ridley Scott’s scintillating verve and vision – over and over again – when it came¬†to¬†compile this rag,¬†Blade Runner¬†took centre stage.

“Harrison Ford¬†makes a fascinating lead character here,” my write-up continued.¬†“The performances are particularly memorable, but it is the spectacular “visual futurism”¬†created by¬†Syd Mead that is sure to become the template in which all subsequent dystopian thrillers will thrive…”

“I’m impressed. How many questions does it usually take to spot them?” – Dr. Eldon Tyrell.¬†

Even now – with just two years to go before we reach the timeframe created therein –¬†what can¬†Brad¬†write about a movie that holds a reserved place in his All-Time Top 5:¬†honestly, one does not just watch this movie – you experience it…

But then, remember that yours truly is a Professional Wordsmith –¬†it’s my job to find the right words, ma’am.¬†

What better way to begin than from the beginning: the opening shot of the imposing Tyrell Corp pyramid dominating the cityscape is sumptuous enough, but a seemingly mundane scene involving Holden testing a subject called Leon ends in such an unexpected, dramatic way, my attention was drawn in from that moment Рstill get goosebumps marvelling at its intricate editing Рand the exceptional sights and sounds that unfolded  kept me hooked right up to its melancholy conclusion.

One of the quintessential elements to enhance the classic status of this sophisticated replicant-busting package is the synthtastic score by Vangelis. As the movie has fuelled its fanatical fan-base to ask numerous questions over the years, there is one particular poser that always fascinates my speculative faculties:  

Who Рor what Рelse could have evoked better mood and enhanced the drama? 

Choosing just ONE track from the classic Soundtrack is challenging enough, but this one gets me every time:

 

My very own unique arbiter of good taste: my father, loved the movie as well – ’twas he who had to stay up (extra late) that weekday night in ’86 and record it, editing out the commercials (bless ‘im!)

The “Boy, have you got a treat in store!” look on his face the next morning is one of those priceless moments @ Brad Manor…¬†

Leon Kowalski (played viciously-cool by Brion James)¬†had more of a profound effect on The Original Brad than on me. He really enjoyed quoting Leon’s lines non-stop:

“Wake up, time to die!”¬†

“Okay, OKAY, I WILL tidy my room already…”¬†

“What do you mean, I’m not helping?” – Leon Kowalski.¬†

And then of course, the main female character became equally iconic.

The fashion sense and hairstyle of eternally-lovely Rachel¬†(Sean Young)¬†added a distinctive 1940s vibe to these “futuristic” proceedings -enhancing that elaborate noir touch in amidst all that neon…

“Have you ever retired a human by mistake?” – Rachel.¬†

“It’s too bad she won’t live! But then again, who does?” – Gaff. ¬†

“Personally,¬†the added unicorn dream sequence¬†looks more incongruous than the original drive-away ending that consisted of outtakes from¬†The Shining! If anything, this unwelcome addition looks like a shoddy outtake from Scott’s 1985 movie: Legend – an even more absurd anomaly…”¬†so argued my write-up prepared for a local newspaper¬†to coincide with the cinematic release of¬†Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut¬†in 1992.¬†The then-Editor didn’t seem all that impressed as my Reviewlike most of my best material – never saw publication.

Thankfully, my opinion towards this sequence has mellowed over time.

“To me, it’s entirely logical,”¬†Ridley Scott¬†explained in a 1982 interview.¬†“Particularly when you are doing a film noir, you might as well go through with that theme, and the central character could in fact be what he is chasing. You could say it is corny or not corny. Something is usually only corny according to execution.¬†It was cut into the picture, and I think it worked wonderfully.”

Although filmed for the original theatrical cut, there again, meddling studio execs advised him to extricate the scene because it complicated the narrative even further. Without it, of course, the later appearance of the origami unicorn makes no sense. 

Part of the initial appeal was¬†Ford’s droll narration. Never had a problem with it myself – was unaware that it was an explanatory device reluctantly added later.¬†As a writer, it is understandable now: how the endless revisions and rewrites it had to go through became a source of irritation for the makers. ¬†

Actually, what about that other question: was Ford miscast? 

Many of his fans thought so, and the negative word-of-mouth contributed to Blade Runner‘s surprisingly dismal run during its initial release.

On the other hand, his presence primarily influenced my decision to sit down, watch and have my life changed forever…

“Are you for real?” – Zhora.

¬†Gaff:¬†“Monsieur, azonnal k√∂vessen engem, bitte!¬†

Sushi Master: “He say you under arrest, Mister Deckard.”¬†

Deckard: “Got the wrong guy, pal.”¬†

Gaff:L√≥faszt! Nehogy m√°r! Te vagy a Blade, Blade Runner!”¬†

Sushi Master: “He say you Blade Runner.”

Deckard:Tell him I’m eating.”

To celebrate its 25th Anniversary, in 2007, Blade Runner: The Final Cut was released. Working abroad where it received no theatrical release, it was just a matter of time before finally seeing what Ridley Scott had originally intended.

Strangely enough, it has taken another ten years before getting round to renting a copy of¬†Blade Runner: The Final Cut! Just last month, in fact,¬†intricate rituals had to be undertaken to prepare me for this superior sensory sensation.¬†Yes, that same tingling feeling throughout is still there…

Future perfect? Perhaps…¬†

The most perplexing question: “Is Deckard a replicant?”¬†has been argued to almost monotonous degrees¬†among critics and fans alike.

For aeons…

Scott insists that he is; Ford has always denied this aspect of his character.¬†Actually,¬†look at it this way: it’s an aspect best left open and UNanswered; let viewers decide for themselves –¬†very few movies possess the capacity to allow audiences to react in such a way.¬†The¬†point that people are still arguing over this issue 35 years later is a testament to the power and intrigue that¬†Blade Runner¬†has – and continues – to generate.

“We need you, Sebastian. You’re our best and only friend” – Pris.

“Quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it? That’s what it is to be a slave” – Roy Batty.

That other oherwhelming question: “Should this classic have a sequel?”¬†has always been answered from this quarter with a stern:

NO, A Thousand Times No. 

When news finally broke confirming the go-ahead of the dreaded Blade Runner 2, it seemed like such an abysmal admit-defeat scenario had unfolded.

However…

In the promising hands of¬†Denis Villeneuve, who lavished the extraordinarily impressive Arrival¬†upon us all last year, prospects suddenly don’t look so dire. Plus, unexpectedly glowing initial Reviews have trickled in.¬†Some critics have even had the nerve to comment how Blade Runner 2049¬†not only complements the original, but supersedes it in terms of depth and quality.¬†

Uff, we’ll have to see about THAT…

So,¬†always up for a challenge, your correspondent will give 2049 a go, and report back to you later in the week…¬†

Let it be said:¬†Villeneuve¬†¬†will have¬†to¬†go SOME WAY to try and¬†produce anything to equal the original’s¬†Final Act:¬†still cited by many¬†as¬†the Greatest Scene in SF Cinema History –¬†it is certainly one of the leading contenders.¬†

Honestly, how could we finish This Post without it? 

Tears in rain? Tears on my keyboard, more like.

Every time…

 

BRADSCRIBE VERDICT: 

“Reaction time is a factor in this so please pay attention. Answer as quickly as you can.”

 

Electric Dreams II: The Return Of Retrowave

New Ways, New Ways, I Dream Of Wires

“My only exposure to electronic music before this had been Kraftwerk, but they were always trying to be machine-like…¬†Then The Human League came along and their music had a human feel to it. It worked for me” –¬†Gary Numan.

“One of my friends told me how genius it was that at the start of Cars [1979] there is just one note that stays and stays and stays,” recalled affable high-flying Electro Overlord¬†Gary Numan.¬†I had to break it to them that when I was in the studio I started playing the first note and couldn‚Äôt think what to do next. I wasn‚Äôt a genius at all, just bereft of ideas.”

Ha! Such a self-effacing Overlord.

He paved the way for the innovative New Wave electronic pop outfits of the ’80s,¬†who,¬†in turn, have helped influence¬†the¬†current music genre¬†guaranteed to lift my spirits:¬†Retrowave, aka Synthwave.

Can’t go wrong wth a roster of retro vibes.

Thus, this selection includes just some of the audio pleasures to have sustained me during the last few weeks of alternating levels of creativity. Compiling the first instalment of this series turned out to be such a blast so this further indulgence was in order. Would like to think that you can find some gems in this collection that can inspire your writing too.

What better way to begin than with¬†Miami Vice:¬†the epitome of class ’80s TV.

Crockett is a consistently good Retrowave artist –¬†and¬†knows how to set the right mood when my writing kicks in –¬†in fact, one or two of his tracks have single-handedly inspired pieces of my fiction!

With this vid, all me groovy ’80s small screen memories come flooding back; you’re watching and all of a sudden – @ 00:38:¬†BAM!¬†there they are:¬†Crockett and Tubbs – woo-hoo!! The boys are back in town! Together in Electric Dreams…?

“…I was always convinced that electronic music wasn’t just another genre; it was a different way of¬†approaching the composition and production of music. It was¬†about the idea that music is not only made up of notes and harmonies, but could be made with sound…” – Jean Michel Jarre. ¬†

There are a least three YouTube channels constantly loading new material on a daily base; the quality and diversity on increasing offer  is simply breathtaking Рa mighty fine accompaniment to my working and creative sessions.

Such a gem starts off sounding akin to one of¬†John Carpenter’s¬†more creepy¬†movie scores before transmogrifyng into something by¬†Gary Numan.

Surely, that is high praise, indeed? 

This is glorious: 

I have heard the music of the future – don’t look for anything else” – Brian Eno.¬†

Cosmic!

Not only one of the most scrumptious words in the English language, it always presents a mighty fine and dandy excuse to explore the good stuff Рand escape from the bad. 

Synthwave is the only genre producing the kind of spacebound sounds that help Brad achieve just that.

From Turboslash to Turbo Knight –¬†let’s face it:¬†it’s these ecstatic moments of beautiful symmetry that keep bringing you back to¬†Bradscribe.

Isn’t it?¬†

This track is accompanied by some¬†Japanese anime –¬†always expect the unexpected on this site!

LOVE the deeeep intro to this – far out, man…

“…I went back to the big, original Moog and did everything¬†electronicallyIn a computer. In ’77… I suppose I helped modernise the sound of pop…” – Giorgio Moroder.¬†

“I get credit for being a pioneer,” Numan continued.¬†“But you open a door and it allows other people who have got great ideas to come through and take it even further. You hear other people doing things and you think: That‚Äôs great!‚Äô”

Well, what an amazing door.

Even better – heartening, even – to know that¬†a¬†considerable range of¬†talented auteurs of audio awesomeness¬†have seized the opp to not only¬†revive ’80s’ pop vibes, but draw upon that decade’s eclectic mix of SF movies (and their soundtracks!), videos and other media to create these retro-wonders.¬†

This week, one of my more intelligible spam Comments (for one of my comic reviews, of all things) read: 

“Built-in grooves to connect numerous units together.”

Yes, that is all it said…

Would like to think that some really snazzy built-in grooves have been assembled here for your enjoyment this evening.

This is another Synthwave artist who can do no wrong @ th mo – there’s no ace like HOME:¬†

Something new was in the air with electronic sounds. We were a younger generation. We came up with different textures” – Ralf Hutter (Kraftwerk).¬†

“It all began, appropriately enough, in¬†science fiction,” wrote¬†Jon Savage,¬†in a blisteringly¬†compelling exploration – published five years ago –¬†of the development of electronic music.¬†

He went on to confirm a personal belief held for some time that:¬†“…the possibility of other worlds –¬†and the transformation achieved of leaving this one –¬†is a sure-fire way of abstracting from any problems that one¬†has on this Earth…”

At this point my text rambles into something utterly profound – but hey! – it’s getting late, and¬†everyone¬†just wants to party.

Don’t¬†they…?¬†

“…Annnd it’s half past groovy – you’re listening to Bradscribe FM, beaming LIVE from the Cosmic Cakery across¬†the¬†Outer Rim Territories –¬†playing the platters that matter on the station¬†where the fun never stops!

“Get on the good foot, pop-pickers!”

“…On the wall back there is a black panel. Blinky yellow light. You see it? There’s a quarnex battery behind it. Purplish box. Green wires. To get into that watch tower, I definitely need it…

“I got one plan, and that plan requires this frickin’ quarnex battery, so FIGURE IT OUT!” – Rocket Raccoon.¬†

And if this Third Rock From The Sun is all too much, you can always escape with Brad into some right snazzy realms of the imagination.

Where else in the blogosphere can you jump at such a chance?

As far as the universe is concerned,¬†we¬†are but fleeting and randomly assembled collections of energy and matter, forever foraging for greater meaning in our lives…

(Aha! Told you he was going to slip something hi-brow in…)

The cute but courageousScribe may NOT hold all the unswers ye seek, but what DOES matter¬†is that we don’t waste what precious little energy we have.

Sweet dreams…

“Keep your ‘lectric eye on me, babe
Put your ray gun to my head
Press your space face close to mine, love
Freak out in a moonage daydream, oh yeah!”
David Bowie.