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#538: The Way of the ’Wood

December 13, 2010

Notes from the Manager

When I first saw the trailer for the Johnny Depp/Angelina Jolie "thriller" The Tourist, I thought it just looked like Salt 2: which is to say, a totally mediocre action flick that exists solely to be replayed on basic cable until for the next few years. (I recently posted a hand-drawn strip that mentioned Salt over at Deleted Scenes.)

I was stunned to learn that Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, the director of The Lives of Others, had directed the film. Even though it's easily one of my favorite movies of the past ten years, I still can't bring myself to watch the movie — especially after reading so many dismal reviews about it while researching this strip.

There are, of course, foreign directors who have managed to do pretty well. While Ang Lee's Hulk is easily one of his worst movies (although it has its defenders), he's also made Brokeback Mountain and Sense & Sensibility through the Hollywood system. Alfonso Cuarón has done rather well for himself, as well. But it's sort of like the equivalent of a small, indie band signing onto a major label. Nine times out of ten, all the personality and charm of their indie material is going to get polished out of it in the course of molding their music into three minute pop songs.

(P.S. Gavid Hood made Rendition here before Wolverine: Origins. It had middling reviews and bombed at the box office, so even though it supports Jason's argument, it was just easier to skip over it in the strip. There's only so much I can squoosh into a single sentence!)


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Leonard Nimoy (1931–2015)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I was never a huge Star Trek fan, exactly. I love some of the early episodes, and I think Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time. I enjoyed Star Trek III and IV, too, for what they were. I read a bunch of the DC Comics Star Trek stuff at that time, because my brother bought them. And I watched a bit of the Next Generation and then fell off the wagon. Kirk and Spock were my Star Trek, and the Star Trek 2–4 “era” was its peak for me, warts and all, because that’s the “era” that really hooked me. And really, for me, it was all about Wrath of Khan.

In addition to playing Mr. Spock, of course, Leonard Nimoy did a lot of other things. He was on Mission: Impossible. He directed a few movies (Three Men and a Baby!). He was a photographer. He was the voice of Civilization IV. But one thing I really loved of his was Standby: Lights, Camera, Action, on Nickelodeon from 1982–1987, which provided a behind the scenes look at movies like Star Trek III, Return of the Jedi, 2010, and more. Nimoy hosted and occasionally interviewed guests like George Lucas. As a budding film nerd in the pre-Internet Dark Ages, behind the scenes specials like Standby: Lights, Camera, Action were hard to come by. I ate that show up.

Anyway, as you’re undoubtedly aware by now, Leonard Nimoy passed away on the 27th. As cartoonists do when they’re sad about these kinds of things, I drew a picture:

Leonard_Nimoy

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