Resin Heroes

Direct Beam Comms #75



TV

New series and finales

Since these “Direct Beam Comms” updates have started I’ve been reviewing new and returning TV series as well as finales here. When I began I figured I’d probably review one or two shows a month and that would be it. Boy, was I wrong. Since the end of November each week I’ve reviewed at least one new show or a finale, if not more. I don’t know if that was a fluke or a sign of the times that we live in but week in and week out there was always something to write about and it just so happens that last week was the first week in nearly six months that there were now shows I wanted to review. I mean, I could review the series Master of None that debuted on Netflix, but I decided that since it’s a show I really wouldn’t watch since I didn’t enjoy or finish the first season, it really wouldn’t be fair for me to review this new season when that review would probably have been negative so why waste the time and energy?

And looking forward there are a few other new shows like Master of None that I could review but probably won’t. 12 Monkeyson Syfy that’s entering its third season but I could never get into that time traveling show based on the movie of the same name nor will I review the Netflix series Kimmy Schmidt that I thought was all right but a bit bland.

And I wonder if I should review the documentary… err… I mean Netflix drama House of Cards too? That show is entering its fifth season in a few weeks but I’ve really only watched two seasons of that series. The amount of shows I’ve watched one or two seasons of before I got bored and stopped watching is absurd.

I have a feeling that after the fall finales of this TV season taper off later this month/early next it might get even lighter in the TV review department here. There are quite a few upcoming shows that I’m interested in seeing like the third season of The Carmichael Show, the second The Tunnel and new shows like The Mist and GLOW, but those are spread out over months instead of weeks like what happened the last half-year.

The Mist TV series commercial

Movies

1987 The Running Man

The Running Man

One movie from 1987 that I always liked, but never loved, is The Running Man. That film has almost everything going for it — The Running Man stars Arnold Schwarzenegger at the start of his height of action-hero fame, it’s based on a novel by Stephen King and the film was adapted by Steven E. de Souza who’s film just before this was the insta-classic Die Hard. Unfortunately, even at the time The Running Man looked a bit cheap and flimsy, even more so today with how glossy entertainment looks, so the movie hasn’t held up well the last 30 years.

Still, when I recently rewatched it earlier this year I was stuck as to just how the dystopian future depicted in The Running Man has come true today — heck, the movie’s even partially set in 2017.

In that future the most popular show on TV is the game show The Running Man. Now we’d call it a reality show, but that term hadn’t been invented in 1987 so the tried and true “game show” term was used back then. In this game show contestants run through the earthquake leveled streets of Los Angeles trying to avoid the “stalkers” who are out to kill them with everything being broadcast on live TV with a host and studio audience. These stalkers are vaguely superhero-esque, one’s even called “Captain Freedom,” but instead of helping the runners they’re out to kill them. If the runners make it to the end of the course then they are given their freedom and spend the rest of their lives living in luxury. But no one ever really makes it till the end.

It’s interesting as to just how much our current society kind’a sort’a mirrors that of The Running Man. From reality TV being the most popular programming out there to some of the biggest celebrities in the world being stars of these programs. Here it’s Damon Killian (Richard Dawson) the host of The Running Man and a man so powerful he has a direct line to the Justice Department. Even the idea of people being more obsessed with pop-culture than what’s really going on in society is a major focus on The Running Man.

In some ways, The Running Man is a sort of anti-The Hunger Games. In that one the contestants are seen as sort of lambs being lead to the slaughter with most of the population not caring for the games. In The Running Man the population hates the runners, and it’s only when the Schwarzenegger character starts winning against the stalkers, something that’s never been done before, that the public starts siding with him.

Still, even if the story of The Running Man had nearly divined the future, there’s no getting around how cheap the whole movie comes off. The film is visually more made-for-TV 1987 than big screen looking and I think that hurts its legacy a bit. I mean, if everything were the same about The Running Man EXCEPT it looked as good as other similar films from 1987 like Predator or RoboCop do I think people would talk about The Running Man in terms of being a classic film and would be studied in universities. Instead it’s seen as a b-grade sci-fi flick that just so happened to get a few things right about our present from 30 years ago.

Blade Runner 2049 trailer

Toys

Alien: Covenant alien monster figure

NECA is set to release a figure based on the creature from the upcoming Alien: Covenant movie at the end of June for a retail price of around $30.

The Reading List

This week in pop-culture history

  • 1955: Bill Paxton of Aliens, Predator 2 and Apollo 13 is born
  • 1980: The Empire Strikes Back opens
  • 1989: Miracle Mile opens
  • 1996: The TV movie Doctor Who airs
  • 1998: Godzilla permiers
  • 1999: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace premiers
  • 2002: The last episode of the TV series The X-Files airs
  • 2002: Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones opens
  • 2005: Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith premiers



Direct Beam Comms #55



TV

People of Earth – Season 1: Grade: B+

I wasn’t totally sold on the TBS comedy series People of Earth when it premiered a few months back. The series about a support group for people who’ve been abducted, err…, experienced aliens where it turns out the members of the group really were abducted started off a bit too broad but within an episode or two found its footing.

Wyatt Cenac stars as writer Ozzie Graham who starts off the series as a journalist doing a story about the abductees but quickly finds himself at the center of things when he’s abducted. The group, lead by Gina (Ana Gasteyer) quickly welcomes Wyatt with open arms if everyone there has their own issues. But People of Earth isn’t just about the abductee group, in a hilarious twist it’s also about the aliens doing the abductions too. There’s bug eyed monster Jeff (Ken Hall), lizard Kurt (Drew Nelson) and dreamy nordic hunk Don (Björn Gustafsson) who go about their day snatching people and erasing their memories in order to prepare for an invasion.

In many ways, People of Earth reminds me of the series Community, not so much in tone but the idea of a group of disparate people thrown together who only have one thing in common and are forced to deal with each other. The characters are interesting and the interactions within the group on People of Earth are pretty funny too. I especially liked the character of Father Doug (Oscar Nuñez) who runs the church the group holds their meetings at. He’s not too interested in the group until one night he experiences something which sends him down the path of abandoning the cloth and getting his old fusion-jazz band back together.

But what’s funniest and best about the show are those aliens. They’re so workaday just doing a job who are a little in over their heads which makes People of Earth work so well. Plus, I’ve got to hand it for whomever did the makeup for the aliens, especially the one for Jeff. It’s a wonderful appliance with the piece covering his entire head that includes blinking eyes and everything.

Even though TBS has renewed People of Earth for a second season I’d be down for a Jeff spin-off series!

Movies

Blade Runner 2049 teaser trailer/announcement

“Replicants are like any other machine, their either a benefit or a hazard.”

Toys

Aliens – Foam Replica – 36″ Alien Skull

This replica skull of the monster from the movie Aliens is awesome. At first I wondered if I were to get it what I’d even do with it, but then I thought that it might make a cool Halloween decoration to scare the kiddies with. Then I saw the cost, $270, which is just a few hundred bucks out of my traditional Halloween decorating budget!

The Reading & Watch List

This week in pop-culture history

  • 1932: Nichelle Nichols, Uhura of Star Trek is born
  • 1980: Altered States is released
  • 1982: The Thing premiers in theaters
  • 1997: The Postman premiers
  • 1999: Galaxy Quest opens in theaters



Blade Runner (1982) poster



Tags:



Kazuhiko Sano Blade Runner movie poster comp



ccb950ccc758db0aec7092c427fe569f_f3328




Jim Steranko Blade Runner Marvel Super Special cover



tumblr_o3w1axvExv1sndzdgo1_500