We truly are in a dark dystopian timeline


I was kind of horrified at the idea of Quentin Tarantino making an R-rated Star Trek movie — it kind of misses the point.

Star Trek is about hope. It’s about exploration and finding the right way to do things, not the easy way. It tells us how we can be better, how we too can find peace among the stars. That thematic line doesn’t seem to line up with any of Tarantino’s previous work, so unless he proves me seriously wrong, this film won’t necessarily capture the spirit of what makes Star Trek so good. It’ll just be The Hateful Eight but in space.

Now, though, something even more incongruous: they’re making a Banana Splits movie. You may remember this if you’re above a certain age, a Saturday morning live-action kids series with goofy people in goofy costumes and goofy plots which wasn’t very good, but nowadays, Hollywood is so desperate for ideas that they’re remaking any old dreck from fifty years ago.

Only to make it “fresh”, they’re remaking it as a horror movie.

I didn’t watch it when I was 12, I’m not going to watch the splatter-movie version when I’m 62.

Hey, you know what else is wrong with this timeline? David Bowie is dead, and Donald Trump is president.

Comments

  1. davidnangle says

    Is there a trend in Hollywood to make outrageous elevator pitches for the lulz? And some of them are getting to be greenlit… ironically, perhaps?

  2. Akira MacKenzie says

    Producer: (Sniffs a long line of coke off the belly a naked, sobbing, female intern) “Ok, Ok, Ok… (sniff) Hear me out, boobala. You remember that kids show from the 70s, Banana DaiquirisBanana FostersBanana Rama or whatever. Right (sniff), you take that idea and you make it all edgy. Instead of a bunch of weirdo animals, they’re a team of international assassin, diamond-thief, underground-racings ninjas, out to get revenge against the drug cartel that killed their families. Wha’ do ya think?

    Studio Head: “I… LOVE.. IT!!! Green light it! Cast Samuel L. Jackson as the lead and get yourself a hooker out of petty cash!

  3. starfleetdude says

    I’d be up for a Tarantino Trek flick only in a timeline where Terry Southern is still around to write the screenplay.

  4. Kevin Dugan says

    There are hundreds of great book series with epic plots, both in Science Fiction and Fantasy. All this proves is that Hollywood producers and directors are largely illiterate and can’t see beyond the the intellectual properties that have been done to death. So what we get is the next generation of directors cut of Star Trek, Dune, Star Wars, Lost in Space, Godzilla, King Kong, etc. The only really novel, well produced SciFi/Fantasy show to come out in the last 10 years is the Expanse series.

  5. Michael says

    When I first glanced at it, I thought you made a mistake, and that it was a College Humor parody. Perhaps some of their writers quit and got jobs at SYFY?

  6. cartomancer says

    It’s not a new phenomenon – Hollywood has ALWAYS leaned on remakes and old ideas rather than trying something new. Do you know how many Robin Hoods and Draculas and so forth they had to put up with in the early 20th century? Even something as distinctive as Ben Hur was remade twice.

  7. PaulBC says

    A Banana Splits horror movie is stupid and crass. A tie-in that explained how Bob Marley happened to borrow their theme song in Buffalo Soldier might be better. With current CGI, they could easily have Marley and the Banana Splits jamming together.

    (Yes, I have plenty of bad movie ideas, just usually not violent ones.)

    (They may incite others to violence.)

  8. says

    Given the hype around Game of Thrones I’m surprised there haven’t been at least a half dozen attempts at replicating it. Terry Goodkind’s libertarian fantasy series would seem a likely choice, but maybe its sub Ayn Rand nonsense kept people away.

    I haven’t seen them, but weren’t the last batch of Trek films kind of a more grimdark take? And it’s not as if we didn’t have The Wraith of Khan.

    The real question about Tarantino doing a Trek film is how much of it will be Trek, and how much of it will be yet another genre pastiche of whatever his favour ’70s and ’80s sci fi show and movies were.

  9. Akira MacKenzie says

    timguenguen:

    Terry Goodkind’s libertarian fantasy series would seem a likely choice…

    If memory serves, they tried that on TV back in the 00s. I don’t think it got past a second season.

  10. zenlike says

    To be fair, when was the last time Star Trek actually was “about hope”, “about exploration and finding the right way to do things, not the easy way” and “tell(ing) us how we can be better, how we too can find peace among the stars”?

    Face it, that ship sailed a long time ago.

  11. PaulBC says

    Better yet, the Banana Splits visit Jamaica and jam with Bob Marley on an early version of Buffalo Soldier. The Splits like the chorus so much that they steal it from Marley for their theme song. This inverts the premise in Back to the Future, where Chuck Berry cannot even write his own big hit, but has to learn it from a time-traveling white kid. (Funny time-travel idea, but it still bugs me.)

  12. PaulBC says

    The first Star Trek reboot movie lost me at the whole “red matter” thing. It just made very little sense that some state of matter would be known for its absorption characteristics in the visible spectrum and would also suck planets into black holes. Seems more like a Hollywood idea than an idea from a competent science fiction writer. Note: doesn’t have to be real physics, but it should feel like real physics.

    I liked the run-up in that movie, introducing characters at the academy. I just don’t think they really had anywhere left to go after that.

  13. starfleetdude says

    To be fair, when was the last time Star Trek actually was “about hope”, “about exploration and finding the right way to do things, not the easy way” and “tell(ing) us how we can be better, how we too can find peace among the stars”?

    It was Star Trek: The Motionless Picture (1979)

  14. Rob Grigjanis says

    PaulBC @17:

    …the premise in Back to the Future, where Chuck Berry cannot even write his own big hit, but has to learn it from a time-traveling white kid.

    But where did the white kid learn it? It’s a bootstrap paradox familiar to readers of time-travel “fixing the timeline” stories, so it’s hardly worth worrying about real attribution for the song. There isn’t any.

  15. davidc1 says

    Poopyhead wrote ” a Saturday morning live-action kids series with goofy people in goofy costumes and goofy plots which wasn’t very good” How very dare you .

  16. brucegee1962 says

    I was a huge Banana Splits fan at the age of 7. I settled down every Saturday morning to watch them with an enormous bowl of cereal, sent away for some of their records (ordered off the back of cereal boxes, of course), and also got a kit to start my own Banana Splits club with my friends (I was Fleegle, my two best friends were Drooper and Snorky). I waited eagerly for the resolution of each cliffhanger on Danger Island. I still know the theme song by heart.

    I wonder if this new movie will lead to a push to make the old episodes widely available? I kind of dread watching it, actually. I’m sure that, through the eyes of adulthood, it will be awful.

    Nevertheless, now that I have watched the trailer for the new movie, I feel as if a part of me has been killed. The world is a lesser place now that it contains this abomination.

    Why couldn’t they have done a horror version of Lidsville, instead? Those giant hats were definitely creepy.

  17. PaulBC says

    @Rob Grigjanis “But where did the white kid learn it? It’s a bootstrap paradox familiar to readers of time-travel “fixing the timeline” stories, so it’s hardly worth worrying about real attribution for the song. There isn’t any.”

    True, but how about the idea that Chuck Berry was just a very talented rock musician who came up with it himself? I am fond of that explanation.

    I get that Marty McFly didn’t write it, and I think it’s a clever scene and I am familiar with bootstrap paradoxes (which seem less paradox than equilibrium state). I just find it problematic to take credit away from Berry. This is not something that keeps me awake at night by the way, but it might be good to have some kind of turnabout in another movie.

  18. Oggie: Mathom says

    As long as they leave HR Puffinstuff alone!

    I don’t really have a problem with making my childhood icons into movies. It’s just, well, fuck. I can understand why the original premise, the original style, is not really possible today. Movies and TV had an innocent verve that really disappeared after The Muppet Show (the real one) went off the air. But why do they have to take my happy memories from before my fall and make them into something worse than what happened to me?

  19. PaulBC says

    “Why couldn’t they have done a horror version of Lidsville, instead?”

    It wasn’t already? Oh, wait, witchy poo was HR Pufnstuf. The entire Sid and Marty Krofft corpus was seriously disturbing. And why did they get to produce nearly all the live-action shows of my childhood?

  20. Pierce R. Butler says

    “Cannibal Banana Splits devour the Enterprise crew on a planet that looks like the desert east of LA!”

    “Great concept, but what do we do for the sequel?”

  21. PaulBC says

    If they were cannibal Banana Splits, shouldn’t they devour each other? “We’re being attacked by cannibal aliens! Help! Wait… false alarm. They don’t seem to be interested in us at all.” “Uh oh… now they’re sending a suicide squad.”

    I can keep this going feature length and well into sequels.

  22. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin wants to remake Monty Python and the Holy Grail, tentative working title is Edamnation Cheesenado Armageddon! — and whilst she claims to have secured the funding the current problem is the plush toy tie-in manufacturers are having problems with the Cute Carnivorous Cheese™© character. Apparently it tends to bite the head off whoever is petting it before the victimcustomer spends all their money.

  23. consciousness razor says

    zenlike, #16:

    To be fair, when was the last time Star Trek actually was “about hope”, “about exploration and finding the right way to do things, not the easy way” and “tell(ing) us how we can be better, how we too can find peace among the stars”?

    Face it, that ship sailed a long time ago.

    Yeah… I think that ship was Voyager. It helped that the entire point over the long run was to return home, because if they were just wandering about like normal Starfleet people, things could have easily gone off the rails due to Janeway’s belligerence. More often than not, it did of course go off the rails, but that meant it was necessary to pull them back. So, that was May 2001 (or if you like, 2378, including its mirror universe and so forth, in the one that isn’t the JJ-verse).
    ST: Enterprise sort of tried to mouth the words every now and then, but it was mixed up in fighting wars, somewhat like the later parts of ST: DS9. I’ve tried when watching Enterprise to forget about 9/11, not think of the show as cheerleading for our various wars, but that may just be impossible. No matter where they go, they are waving the US flag, and all of the weird hostile aliens they meet on the way happen to be from Afghanistan — except the Andorians, because they become friends … Russians maybe?

  24. dixonge says

    The wife says “now that’s a horror movie I’d watch!”

    Officially concerned, here…

  25. says

    A. This inevitably reminds me of Candle Cove, the creepypasta by Kris Straub which he sold the movie rights to but which then seems to have fizzled out.

    B. Does anybody remember the weird movie that was made of Super Mario Brothers? Apparently that happened because the people who bought the rights hired the producers who made Max Headroom and asked no questions, and those guys wanted to make a dystopian R-rated cyberpunk movie, and by the time anybody came back to ask how things were going they had spent all the budget on costumes, props, and scenery for that idea, so that even when they were kicked off the project their replacements had to work with the stuff already purchased. (Weird, but I’m told it’s true.)

  26. whheydt says

    After reading the post and comments (so far), I think I’m just as glad to have missed the original TV series, what with not being a kid by the ’70s and my kids being either not born or too young in the correct interval.

    As for SF series that could be filmed (if one could get the needed permissions…but that’s another, and much longer, issue) would be the two epic series by E. E. “Doc” Smith, the “Skylark of Space” books (the first interstellar SF ever publish, with the first book having been written ca. 1919) and the “Lensman” series (which ends up going intergalactic). Much of the science is utterly ridiculous, not that that ever slowed down Hollywood. The “Lensman” series has some interesting potential as each book has Our Heroes inventing bigger and more powerful weapons when The Enemy either matches or counters them. The final one being that the Good Guys create an artificial supernova.

    In both series, the speed of light isn’t even a minor inconvenience to anybody. Handwavium abounds. But they’re fun reads and there is enough action to distract one from the idiocies of the plots. Both series are excellent examples of classic “pulp SF”, and re better written that many other classic examples. And that is right up the Hollywood alley.

    Another short series that would probably make a “decent” transistion to the big screen would be John W. Campbell’s “Arcot, Wade, and Morey (aka the “Black Star”) series.

  27. PaulBC says

    A Tarantino film could fit into the Star Trek universe the same way it can fit into the real world. The Federation has utopian elements to it, and clearly Gene Roddenberry was advocating hope, reason, tolerance, etc. But even the original series had its pure horror (e.g. Wolf in the Fold). The violence was not shown, but it existed. It is true that the solution normally comes about through judicious action by good, rational people who know what they’re doing. But why should it always be like that? There can be frontier worlds as lawless as L.A. in Pulp Fiction. The bad guys can win sometimes. Maybe I’m not enough of a Star Trek fan to find the idea completely outrageous.

    I think a lot of it would depend on whether it is Tarantino making a good faith effort to produce a movie in the Star Trek universe or just a marketing gimmick for another Tarantino movie.

  28. says

    I am not looking forward to the female foot in Star Fleet boots being focused on in QT’s Star Trek. We all know 3-10 shots are coming.

  29. vucodlak says

    @ The Vicar, #31

    Candle Cove was made into season 1 of Syfy’s Channel Zero, which was a six-episode miniseries. Was there supposed to be another project?

  30. unclefrogy says

    I think a lot of it would depend on whether it is Tarantino making a good faith effort to produce a movie in the Star Trek universe or just a marketing gimmick for another Tarantino movie.

    well it would be novel for hollywood to not just use it as a gimmick whose purpose seems to be to save money on writers and retain control.
    I lost my interest when they destroyed Vulcan without a hint of reversing it. I have just not had much interest since then.
    It was like making a star wars trilogy and killing off skywalker in the first movie.
    I thought the almost hilarious Cowboys and Aliens was done really well and literally had everything in it
    the Macguffin was plausible enough the the action and characters were as well and fun all the way through, the look was well done almost flawless.
    The design of most of the movies has gotten really well executed now if they could spend enough time on the f’n story.
    but hollywood may not really be illiterate though just too much visually oriented for story they are in the end however very conventional.
    i could name a number of things that might work as movies but will never likely get tried
    uncle frogy

  31. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    It would be kind of clever to have Tarantino create a seemingly grim Star Trek movie, where in the end the principled and optimistic win out and the cynical and opportunistic fail. Kind of turn our expectations of what he would do on their heads. The overall tone of the movie could be quite grim, but if the “lesson” is done well, if the resolution is in line with proper Star Trek, it could work very well.

  32. tbtabby says

    That trailer can’t be real, can it?! It looks just like one of College Humor’s parody trailers!

  33. whheydt says

    Re; unclefroggy @ #38…
    Have you ever seen “Valley of the Gwangi”? It’s cowboys and dinosaurs with the special effects (i.e. dinosaurs) done by Ray Harryhausen.

  34. Rob Grigjanis says

    cr @29: We see Enterprise quite differently, maybe in part because I didn’t watch it until it was well into reruns. IMO, best writing and best ensemble in the Star Trek oeuvre. A refreshing change from the smug preachiness of TNG and, occasionally, Voyager. And not all the aliens were, or remained, hostile; they even ended up pals with three of the Xindi species.

    Still, I’d give “best captain” to Janeway, and I don’t see the belligerence you ascribe to her. And best theme music, by a mile, to DS9.

  35. PaulBC says

    @Rob Grigjanis I’m almost inclined to say Enterprise is an underrated series. It might just be that it was one of the few I managed to watch regularly as an adult. (I watched some Voyager and that was entertaining fluff.)

    I really liked the Enterprise opening sequence with the grinning Alan Shepard. Great way to anchor the entire franchise to history. Scott Bakula also made a very believable, reliable starship captain. He wasn’t Kirk or Picard (or Sam Beckett from Quantum Leap, thankfully).

    The main criticism I have for Enterprise is that it was hard to wrap my head around the idea that this was less advanced technology than the starship in the original series, since obviously the look and feel of the series itself was far in advance of the original. There also didn’t seem to be any capabilities from the original series obviously missing in Enterprise (if I recall correctly, transporters were supposed to be controversial when the series started, but they kind of forgot about that). I think they could have worked harder on that.

  36. Walter Solomon says

    So what we get is the next generation of directors cut of Star Trek, Dune, Star Wars, Lost in Space, Godzilla, King Kong, etc.

    Kevin Dugan #7

    You forgot Terminator. Much like the cybernetic antagonists/protagonists featured in the films, this franchise doesn’t seem to want to die easily.

  37. PaulBC says

    If Tarantino really wants to do SF, a better idea would be to tag team with Joss Whedon on another Firefly movie, ideally one (unlike the movie Serenity) that pulls in the whole wild west Chinese patois motif of the TV series. “They can’t take the sky from me!” (worst theme song ever and yet now I can’t get it out of my head)

  38. Rob Grigjanis says

    PaulBC @43: Well, they didn’t have shields. Just “polarizing the hull plating”, whatever that meant. Anyway, I just thought the people (crew and aliens) were more believable.

    Side note: I started off loathing the opening song, but grew quite fond of it. And yeah, nice opening sequence.

  39. says

    @#37, vucodlak:

    Didn’t know that they finally made anything out of it. Last I heard, Straub was still contractually not permitted to talk about it in any detail, including who had bought the rights, and it had been years since the deal with nothing made.

  40. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I agree fully with the OP. I’m a huge Star Trek fan, but I haven’t watched any of the new universe Star Trek movies. They miss the point, which is a hopeful optimism about the future, where humanity has “evolved” beyond petty things such as racism, sexism, war, resource scarcity, labor, etc. Then, you put that sort of culture against more violent cultures or less enlightened cultures, and that’s how you get a morality play aka Aesop out of it, which is what Star Trek is supposed to be all about.

  41. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To be fair, when was the last time Star Trek actually was “about hope”, “about exploration and finding the right way to do things, not the easy way” and “tell(ing) us how we can be better, how we too can find peace among the stars”?

    Face it, that ship sailed a long time ago.

    and:

    It was Star Trek: The Motionless Picture (1979)

    Oh come on. At least give me Star Trek 6, the Undiscovered Country, released 1991. The entire plot was about preventing an assassination between two “cold war” bitter rival empires, and bringing them into the undiscovered country of a future of peace.

    Also, Star Trek Voyager ran 1995 to 2001. They did a lot of great stuff on top of what came behavior. Strong lead woman captain with compelling character and actress. They even tried to have a native American second-in-command, and it would have worked out decently well if the producers didn’t unknowingly hire a con-man as an expert to advise the show on native American stuff (and yes I know they didn’t cast a native American as a native American, which would have been better, but they tried a little). Star Trek Voyager was constantly on about how Star Fleet and the Federation and humanity were beyond using violence to solve their disputes, and preaching this to every new civilization that they meant.

    /rant

    PS:
    Thank you consciousness razor for #29.

  42. loop says

    Banana Splits? Everybody now…

    Tra la la, la la-la la, tra la la, la la-la la….

  43. Rob Grigjanis says

    EL @48:

    the future, where humanity has “evolved” beyond petty things such as racism, sexism, war, resource scarcity, labor, etc

    See, that’s what makes a lot of Star Trek (especially TNG) ridiculous. Apparently, they’re not human any more. Now, if they’d spent some effort explaining how the “evolution” happened, it might have made some of the preachy crap a bit more bearable, although I still want to punch someone for ending up with a sociopathic Prime Directive.

    Also, how the fuck does a French viticulteur son of the soil end up with a toff English accent? Remember the episode where Picard and others are transformed into children? IIRC, they had an Etonian pupil play him. Barf.

  44. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Rob Grigjanis
    I just rewatched a Voyager episode last night where Janeway explains to Q that it wasn’t genetic or genetically inheritable (as part of explaining why a hypothetical child of Janeway and Q would not inject human values into the Q culture). Janeway explains that humanity has become awesome because of culture, not genetics.

    For myself, I would hasten to add that advanced technology is also a vital ingredient. Near free fuel supplies plus replicators that can create almost any material object from energy does a lot to remove the need for violence and war.

    I also think that myself earlier, and Janeway, are slightly exaggerating. It’s not true even in Star Trek Voyager that all humans no longer resort to violence to solve problems when other solutions are available. Rather, it was a general description, and an approximation.

    PS:

    although I still want to punch someone for ending up with a sociopathic Prime Directive.

    I partially agree. The episode that I just watched was a rather silly Aesop,
    https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FamilyUnfriendlyAesop
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendship_One_(Star_Trek:_Voyager)
    It was the Voyager episode where they are sent to recover a probe from Earth that was sent long ago, before the birth of the Federation, and it included all sorts of technical manuals on how to build a warp drive. It landed on a faraway planet, which Voyager happened to find, and the inhabitants had found the tech manuals, and built themselves antimatter power sources for their society, which blew up and rendered the planet borderline uninhabitable, and they blamed Earth for the near destruction of their species. It’s a rather forced Aesop which I still don’t buy. It is one aspect of Star Trek that I try to maintain my suspension of disbelief, because if you look at it too closely, it’s just morally horrible, or based on premises that I think are just wrong. In short, the Aesop here, which is repeated elsewhere, is that sudden injection of advanced technology into a civilization is always harmful, and I just don’t buy that. It can be harmful, but I don’t buy that it’s always harmful. Still, IMO this is an outlier in otherwise excellent morality plays.

    PPS:
    I like how the future that Gene Roddenberry foresaw was basically nuclear powered. Rather than badly paraphrasing, let me just quote the source that inspired me so.
    https://atomicinsights.com/project-dilithium-part-ii-enabling-technologies/

    Whoever picked Project Dilithium as the name chose a brilliant metaphor for anyone who views Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek franchise as an inspiration for dreaming about the future. Vessels like the Starship Enterprise rarely worry about fuel; all they need is an infrequent addition of some “dilithium crystals.”

    I see it as a clear metaphor for nuclear power, or some as-of-yet undiscovered version of nuclear power. That’s the vision of the future which I hope eventually comes to pass, or some likeness of it through extreme robot automation. I doubt we’ll remove the need for labor for most people in my lifetime, but we could make some good progress, like reducing the work week by law from 5 days per week to 4 days per week, or even less.

  45. PaulBC says

    @EnlightenmentLiberal ‘”They miss the point, which is a hopeful optimism about the future, where humanity has “evolved” beyond petty things such as racism, sexism, war, resource scarcity, labor, etc. Then, you put that sort of culture against more violent cultures or less enlightened cultures”‘

    I’m not sure the Federation achieves this goal. Maybe an adaptation of Iain M. Banks’s culture novels could do this.

    I think my biggest gripe with Star Trek is the fact that all the good guys have military ranks. It is sort of strange.

  46. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I think my biggest gripe with Star Trek is the fact that all the good guys have military ranks. It is sort of strange.

    Definitely. There’s some cognitive dissonance going on. The exploration arm of the Federation is also its military arm, and at various times, they claim that Star Fleet isn’t (primarily) military. I love whenever the Klingons or the Romulans or Cardassians, etc., call the Federation on this obvious bullshit. There are some fig leafs constantly given the main purpose of the fleet is exploration and peacekeeping, but they are military vessels, armed and armored to the teeth.

    Again, I’m not claiming that the vision of the future of the Star Trek franchise is perfect and without flaws. Obviously not.

  47. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Ooh. Ooh. Let me add one thing. I was just watching a (crappy) youtube video that attempts to analyze (lol) the difference between phasers and disruptors from Star Trek. I find the point that the video author makes interesting, even if the thing that he sees was an accidental creation by Star Trek creators.

    In short, most other space faring groups in the Star Trek fiction use disruptors. I’ll spare the technical details – at first glance, phasers and disruptors are scifi ray guns. Star Fleet and The Federation are practically the only group to use phasers instead of disruptors, including as their primary weapons on their military ships. Why does this matter? The youtube video author points out the amazing versatility of phasers, and how they’re so much more than weapons, being able to do a wild variety of tasks. Phasers also have a harmless “stun” setting which disruptors do not. The video author notes that phasers are the perfect “weapon” for Star Fleet because of their peace-loving attitudes and their proclivity to use technology and reason to solve problem because of violence – and this is because phasers are more than a weapon – they’re a tool which can double as a weapon. Phasers can, sometimes, be thought of as a tool first, and a weapon second.

    I happen to think that the Star Trek creators never intended this distinction, and it was just luck that Star Fleet used phasers and everyone else used some other scifi ray gun. However, I also think that it demonstrates an ongoing trend in the show which is that the Star Trek creators kept having to figure out some way for the main cast to McGuyver their way out of a problem with science, knowledge, and technology instead of violence, and the phasers just happened to be there and phasers happened to be a convenient method for the good guys to do their thing non-violently. So, I think it still shows, accidentally, that the Federation is still much more peace-loving and pacificist than the other common empires in the setting.

  48. Rob Grigjanis says

    EL @52:

    It landed on a faraway planet, which Voyager happened to find…

    One major problem with Voyager, for me, was how they kept running into Earth shit in the Delta Quadrant. The bloke who was in Mars orbit a couple centuries ago, Amelia Earhart (!), aliens who had interacted with Chakotay’s tribal ancestors. “Silly” doesn’t begin to describe this stuff.

  49. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Ack, Typo. Meant this:

    their proclivity to use technology and reason to solve problem s instead of violence

  50. Rob Grigjanis says

    EL @58: It’s not about science facts. I can deal with FTL, and (barely) tolerate some time travel. It’s the utterly absurd coincidences that stimulate the extreme eye-rolling.

    What little I saw of Mystery Science Theater 3000 was annoying because of the lame commentary rather than the film content. I can provide my own lame commentary, thanks very much.

  51. PaulBC says

    @Rob Grigjanis “I can deal with FTL, and (barely) tolerate some time travel. It’s the utterly absurd coincidences that stimulate the extreme eye-rolling.”

    Funny you should mention this. I finally read The Martian very recently. I saw the movie when it came out. While any one of the technical solutions proposed in the novel might be plausible, there is a more serious believability problem. In any given situation, there is always a probability that things go as planned and some (hopefully small) probability of catastrophic failure. There is also a probability of recoverable failure, but there is no reason to think it is much greater than the probability of unrecoverable failure. In The Martian, we’re supposed to accept as plausible a series of life-threatening failures that were each more or less independent in probability, life threatening, but recoverable. Clearly, you need something like this to make for drama, but I just thought that Weir strung so many of them together that it was virtually impossible for anything like that to happen.

    Which isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy it, but I thought the movie was a lot better. Matt Damon and the cast breathed life into an otherwise interesting but dry thought experiment.

  52. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    It’s the utterly absurd coincidences that stimulate the extreme eye-rolling.

    Eh. I can ignore that in just the same way in order to make for interesting stories.

  53. microraptor says

    The thing about the Banana Splits movie is that it was obviously intended to be a Five Nights At Freddy’s movie that they started improvising on because they couldn’t get the rights.

  54. John Morales says

    PaulBC:

    … but I just thought that Weir strung so many of them together that it was virtually impossible for anything like that to happen.

    That’s why humans are bad at intuiting true randomness. They think the very unlikely doesn’t belong there. Thing is, that which happens cannot be impossible, however unlikely.

    (Also, you write at a time when the President of the USA is a TV reality host who had zero political experience before being elected. So, yeah)

  55. unclefrogy says

    @41
    I don’t think so but maybe I sure don’t remember the name anyway.
    Ray Harryhausen. was the best thing about King Kong, the sailors and the “monsters” was one of the best parts.
    those scenes make it seem more real and down to earth less impossible.
    uncle frogy

  56. whheydt says

    Re: unclefroggy @ #41…
    Actually…Harryhausen was 13 when the original King Kong was made. The person that did the stop motion model work for that film was Willis O’Brien. Harryhausen learned the trade from him–they worked together on Mighty Joe Young in 1949. To be fair, I think Harryhausen further developed and ran with the techniques well beyond O’Brien. Shoulders of giants, and all that.

  57. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re @20
    my least objectionable timeloop. I don;t see a big problem with a loop like that, where A takes back in time something he knew in the future to cause the event he remembers. It’s a closed loop, and no inherent contradiction. Unlike the objectionable time loop involving physical objects. like going into the past, needing some local currency and selling an object at a local pawn shop. Turns out he got the object from the dissolution of the pawn shop when the owner moved on. Raising the question “where did the object come from?” Information is a little more ethereal. The question remains, except not burdened with physicality issues.
    thank you for reading this Whovian’s rambles.

  58. PaulBC says

    67 @slithey tove To be clear, I have no objection to the time loop. Actually, it’s reasonably clever and makes sense to me. Berry’s fictional cousin hears McFly a riff that he is sure Berry would appreciate, not knowing it is attributed to Berry in the future. That fact that Chuck Berry hears it likes it enough to incorporate it into his own work is what closes the loop, so instead of causality, we have Johnny B. Goode arising as the solution to an equation. In some indirect sense, it is still “written” by Chuck Berry but not by the usual causal mechanism.

    Where does it comes from? Well, where does the solution come from when you apply a fixed point method to calculate the square root of two? Maybe there is some meta-time that serves as a fixed point iteration. (And I think I stole that from an ancient SF book by James P. Hogan).

    I was only objecting (and mildly) to the fact that even the above scenario steals credit from the real life Chuck Berry. I still think it would be funny to have the Banana Splits steal their theme song from Bob Marley’s Buffalo Soldiers, since the suspicion tends to run the other way (and the whole thing could be coincidence).

  59. curbyrdogma says

    Can some. important media “influencer” please declare that the trope of “doing an edgy spin on cute retro cartoon characters” has Jumped The Shark? It might have been edgy and ground-breaking during the era of Spike and Mike. It was fresh and funny in the early 90s. It’s just stale now; a mindless plug-in formula.

    Also (as has been pointed out above), the Sid-and-Marty-Kroft-iverse would have been much more fitting. Or a plot involving the creators or “reanimators” of old pizza shop animatronics dolls (which I suspect might have been the inspiration for FNAF, only this is real life) (Perhaps they couldn’t get the rights to either?)


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIgCSrSOk4o

  60. PaulBC says

    “like going into the past, needing some local currency and selling an object at a local pawn shop. Turns out he got the object from the dissolution of the pawn shop when the owner moved on. Raising the question “where did the object come from?” Information is a little more ethereal.”

    My only objection to this scenario (e.g. with Kirk’s glasses in Star Trek IV) is that the artifact is years older between the beginning and end of the time loop. Assuming even the slightest wear and tear, there is no way to match up the object from the future with the object in the past. Or in terms of some meta-time frame, it is infinitely old and should eventually turn to dust. Information does not have that problem, so it can be used to close a time loop. (That said, I’m sure there are ways to get around the objection.)

    (I am over 50 and have sadly had too many years to reach conclusions about such conundrums.)

  61. PaulBC says

    @curbyrdogma I would count “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” as an edgy spin on the basic concept of live action kids’ educational programming though it uses original characters. My kids and I are still big fans though it has been over for a while. But it has to be in the right hands, like all parody.

    Making the Banana Splits violent is a really stupid idea (Is this even a real idea? Can someone settle that?) What makes ideas “jump the shark” is when they are conceived as a marketing idea first. You can tell the writers don’t even understand the conventions they’re mocking.

    Sid and Marty Krofft was already so far out there that parody seems superfluous.

  62. PaulBC says

    “Or a plot involving the creators or “reanimators” of old pizza shop animatronics dolls”

    There is a super-creepy arduino restoration of an old Teddy Ruxpin out there some where. (I was already in college when they came out.) How about a kind of Teddy Ruxpin meets Austin Powers meets Steve Austin where Ruxpin 2.0 is an old Teddy Ruxpin doll who is reanimated with modern technology (better, stronger, faster) and works as a super-spy except that he cannot quite get used to the fact that the 80s are over (lots of funny MTV and Cold War references. plus all the leering Teddy Bear-human lust opportunities).

    Seriously, they should be paying me for these ideas. ;)

  63. says

    The real problem with the Back to the Future “Johnny B . Goode” scene is that Marty McFly is playing a Gibson ES345, a guitar that wouldn’t hit the market until 1959.

  64. PaulBC says

    The Banana Splits are careless time travelers, littering multiple timelines with slightly anachronistic artifacts. Marvin Berry’s band got the guitar from a pawn shop, not realizing it was from the future. In a subplot left out of the official BTTF release, Marvin is stalked by the trio of Bingo, Drooper, and Snork who intend to recover the ES345 by all means necessary and avert a temporal rupture (but never resorting to mayhem for its own sake; these are civilized bears… or whatever it is they are exactly).

    “[Banana Splits’] Cuckoo Clock … would give a snarky remark to the “What time is it” question.” (wikipedia)

    I have no recollection of this from my childhood, but it does back up the theory that the Banana Splits are Time Travelers.

  65. curbyrdogma says

    PaulBC: yeah, agreed that the “plug-in” formula is the reason this doesn’t work. FNAF was based on pizza chain animatronics, which already had a creepy factor. An updated Banana Splits movie would have better worked if it had focused on the original show’s randomness and 60s-era psychedelia, for better or worse. (Especially with the resurgence of “retro” sounding music and the legalization of certain substances)

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