Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Interesting Media Bits -- A Sporadic Geek Update

  • Brian Lowry shares some interesting observations regarding television today and television in 1993. It's amazing how much, and how little, has changed in the offerings available.

  • LA Observed shares what the Los Angeles Times consider to be the best "LA Movies" that were made between two extraordinarily arbitrary dates. LA STORY is at #20, which is too low. THE BIG LEBOWSKI is at #10, which seems about right. DAY OF THE LOCUST (1975) is nowhere to be seen, which is two words -- first begins with a c, second ends with a k -- "crazy talk," but is excluded due to the strange "Best 25 in the past 25 years" rule, which enables them to leave out an abundance of other great movies.

  • Stephen Sommers is slated to helm a new Tarzan movie. Had you asked me after the first MUMMY movie he made, I would have been unreservedly overjoyed. He maintained the proper balance of humor and pulp excitement necessary to pull off that film. After MUMMY II, I would have been more hesitant. In the years after VAN HELSING, that is to say NOW, I am actually a little worried. His live action JUNGLE BOOK was pretty good and his upcoming GI JOE movie might redeem all past misdeeds, or magnify them. It's a Tarzan movie, and I'm a big fan of Burroughs, so it is a must see. Though in my heart of hearts, I think it is unlikely to pass GREYSTOKE and the Disney animated TARZAN as a translation of the character and stories, but we'll see.

    Speaking of being a Burroughs fan. There is a meme going around the internets that Tarzan was named after Tarzana (which isn't true) as opposed to Tarzana Ranch -- which became Tarzana -- being named after Tarzan (which is true). Most of the misunderstanding is rooted in a spoof Snopes article from their "Lost Legends" section of the website, the urban legend site "All-Lies" falls for the gag. Most people read the article and say, "Aha, I knew that no one would name a town after Tarzan!" But they fail to follow links to this page "The Repository of Lost Legends" (TRoLL for short), where they let you know they were kidding. Or they could look at this well researched ERBzine page, where Burroughs obsessives live, and find the story of Tarzana. One could even go to the Tarzana Chamber of Commerce page where they discuss the topic. Sadly, too many people want to be "smarter than the obvious" and think that Tarzana being named after Tarzan is a myth.

    It isn't, the town was named after a fictional character. The internet can be wrong folks. Go read the Irwin Porges biography of Burroughs, then come back to me.

  • Jerry Bruckheimer, Randall Wallace, and Steven Pressfield to make "Killing Rommel," based on Pressfield's novel of the same name. I have been a fan of Pressfield's since I first read his novel "Gates of Fire" years ago. I look forward to seeing a Bruckheimerstravaganza WWII movie based on one of Pressfield's books.

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