The Curator of Schlock #102: Blackboard Jungle

The Curator of Schlock #102 by Jeff Shuster

Blackboard Jungle

Do not bring your jazz records into the classroom!

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Hey, everybody! It’s Back to School Month here at the Museum of Schlock! And you know what that means? Juvenile delinquency. Let’s not mince words here. We’ll begin with 1955s Blackboard Jungle from director Richard Brooks. We’re already off to a bad start when we hear “Rock Around the Clock” blasting over the credits.  The downfall of Western Civilization began with that song. How about instead of rocking around the clock tonight, you tell the adolescents to brush up on their civics tonight! Bill Haley and His Comets! Appropriate name for a band if those comets are meant to destroy America!

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The movie starts out Richard Dadier (Glenn Ford) being interviewed for a teaching position. He wows the principal with his recitations of the Henry V, getting him the job on the spot. However, when he asks about the discipline problem at North Manual High School, the principal makes it clear that “There is no discipline problem in this school, Mr. Dadier. Not as long as I’m principal.” Okay. That’s a clear sign to the hell out of dodge, but our Mr. Dadier is a slow learner. He befriends another teacher whose name escapes me, but he wears glasses so we’ll call him Mr. Poindexter. He’s a fan a swing and brags about his rare record collection. Mr. Dadier takes his wife out for champagne and ravioli not knowing the horrors that await him Monday morning

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These boys are talking in the hallway, their smoking in the hallways, and frankly they’re giving off a bad attitude. One of them, Gregory Miller (Sidney Poitier) seems smarter than the rest, but he keeps calling Mr. Dadier chief even after Mr. Dadier tells him to “cut out the chief routine.” Then one of them throws a slab of concrete at the blackboard as soon as Mr. Dadier has his back turned!  Or maybe it was a baseball. Then they all start calling him Daddio! I-I can’t believe it

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The rest of the day goes smoother, except when one the boys manhandles one of the few female teachers in the school! Mr. Dadier runs the rescue resulting in the assailant throwing himself through one of the glass windows. You know what? I hate to say it, but these are dead-end kids! Mr. Poindexter asks, “What happened?” An older cynical teacher replies, “The first day of school.” I could go on to spoil the rest of the movie, but I won’t. Let’s just say you don’t want to bring your rare record collections into the classroom!

Teenage Kicks

In Memoriam

Wes Craven

August 2, 1939 – August 30, 2015

Craven

I don’t really have words for the passing of one of the Masters of Horror. Rest assured, this October will be Wes Craven month here at The Museum of Schlock.

Five Things I Learned from Blackboard Jungle

  1. Vinyl records break pretty easy.
  2. Glasses break pretty easy too.
  3. Teenage boys will have lively discussions about Jack and the Beanstalk.
  4. Household cooks make more than teachers and they get room and board!
  5. If you try to take a knife from a juvenile delinquent, he may just slice your hand.

_______

Photo by Leslie Salas

Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124, and episode 131) is an MFA candidate at the University of Central Florida.

The Lists #22: Eleven Things Said to Me on Actual Dates

The Lists #22 by Scott Hoffman

Eleven Things Said to Me on Actual Dates

1.

(Sends me a text to meet him at a bar at 10:30, so I show up.)

Me: “Hi, I got your text.”

Him: “What are you doing here?”

2.

Him: “I met another guy. But it might not work out. Do you mind waiting?”

Me: *eye roll*

3.

Him: “I’m worth a lot. I own a successful business, a condo in downtown Austin, and a very expensive car.”

Me: “How about a soul? You got a soul?”

4.

Him: “I haven’t been in a relationship for 14 years.”

Me: “I’m surprised it hasn’t been 20.”

5.

Him: “I prefer younger men.”

Me: “Every man’s younger than you.”

6.

Him: “I think we should just be friends.”

Me: “It’s only been 10 minutes.”

7.

Him: “I’m also seeing a Brazilian model.”

Me: “Hand model, right?”

8.

Him: “My roommate photographs his poops.”

(Produces a Polaroid.)

9.

(After talking about “being friends”)

Him: “Friends? Yes. But if you want to kiss me we could see how that feels.”

Me: “Thanks. I’m good.”

10.

Him: “My thoughts are generally quite pure, a result of 22 years of total abstinence.”

Me: “That time before puberty doesn’t count.”

11.

Me: “So what part of England are you from?”

Him: “I’m not. I just felt like doing an accent tonight.”

Me: “Check, please.”

_______

Scott Hoffman

Scott Hoffman (Episode 66, essay) is an independent scholar and native Austinite living and working in his hometown. He earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from Purdue University in 2005 and is currently revising his manuscript Haloed by the Nation: Popular Martyrdom in Contemporary America. In 2008, he was nominated for a Lone Star Emmy for researching and writing The World, the War and Texas, a public television documentary about Texans during the Second World War. His publications include “How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria? St. Maria Goretti in the Post-Counter-Cultural World” in The CRITIC and “Holy Martin: The Overlooked Canonization of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” and “‘Last Night I Prayed to Matthew:’ Matthew Shepard, Homosexuality and Popular Martyrdom in Contemporary America,” both in Religion and American CultureThis year he completed compiling an LBGT Resource Guide for the Austin History Center. In his spare time Scott likes to sing like nobody’s listenin’ and dance like nobody’s watchin’, which means he tends to wail and flail his arms a lot…

McMillan’s Codex #2: Witcher 3 (The Wild Hunt)

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McMillan’s Codex #2 by C.T. McMillan

Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt

It’s become a videogame norm ito borrow from film for the purpose of gameplay sequences and narrative. Games often elevate the material beyond what movies can achieve, but like literature, unless you are writing a script, it is not a good idea to imagine your story as a movie. The result of emulating film the wrong way can be an awkward combination of displacement and confusion. The self-proclaimed auteur David Cage fancies himself a director and has no grasp of how games work. When playing Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, however, it became clear developer CD Projekt Red knew it wanted to make a videogame and found inspiration beyond the silver screen.

Simply put, Wild Hunt is the Song of Ice and Fire with double the fantasy and enough realism to make George R.R. Martin blush. With its attention to detail and the complexity of an author in story and world building, it’s not surprising it follows a book series of the same name by Andrzej Sapkowski. Playing Wild Hunt is like reading a novel, the level of immersion increased by its depth-full design. Everything has been carefully thought out and crafted in a natural fashion as the player interacts with the world and discovers how it works in further exploration.

Witcher 3 1

The world of Wild Hunt may be fantasy, but its fully realized political elements create a sense of believability many games struggle to achieve. The story centers on a war between two nations whose effects are evident throughout. In occupied land, corpses of deserters hang on trees with warning signs. Villagers live in squalor and poverty as resources are taken in submission to invaders. Parents die of starvation and their children left destitute. The emperor waging the war struggles to maintain it in the midst of debt and stalemate. On the other side a mad king spurs paranoia among his people to keep them in check, tasking witch hunters to torture and burn mages and non-humans. The oppression takes hold as ordinary people persecute one another in ignorance and fear.

Those who live in Wild Hunt’s world make it possible. Each group of people has problems and a region specific culture. One village may pray to a trio of witches for good harvest while a city openly shuns anything outside of the majority religion’s extremist practices. Their struggles are diverse as some are better off than others across the war-torn land. The oppressed talk of their suffering and living in tyranny while those doing the oppressing justify their actions with lesser-of-two evils logic. Individuals have their own accents and dialects depending on location and status, written with pain-staking consistency. Elites of the peaceful regions will have refined speaking skills where as peasants talk with a litany of slang and conjunctions that would guilt a Cockney to take speech lessons.

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Within the culture of the world exists an element of magic treated like science. As the protagonist Geralt, you are a monster hunter with a vast bestiary on all things non-human. Within the game is glossary of Wild Hunt’s many creatures that can be slain for profit. Each has its own description and weaknesses that can be exploited in gameplay. The use of alchemy is a kind of fantastical chemistry as you mix herbs into oils for your sword or potions to fortify abilities. Books can be found and read to increase one’s knowledge of the world and its history.

This complex game environment offers numerous quests. From the main story missions to random events the player happens upon, each is a well-written story with strong characters and conflicts in shades of grey. Like the overarching war narrative, both sides are neither right nor wrong and the player’s choice affects those involved. Said choices are complicated and the desired outcome is never what it seems. The ending of the game takes into account the player’s decisions and renders an appropriate closing that reflects upon the how player reacted.

Witcher 3 3

Only in literature can a world of such depth be realized. With words alone an author can build and destroy with the ease of a pen stroke or the press of a button. The flash and excitement of spectacle may captivate for mere moments, but rigorously thought-out concepts that breath life into illusion is everlasting. CD Projekt Red knew better than anyone quality world building takes more than gameplay and graphics. Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt is a superior instance of literary inspiration in videogames and sets a standard many should follow.

_______

Charles McMillan

C.T. McMillan is a film critic and a devout gamer.  He has a Bachelors for Creative Writing in Entertainment from Full Sail University.

The Rogue’s Guide to Shakespeare on Film #3: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999)

Rogues Guide to Shakes on Film 2

The Rogue’s Guide to Shakespeare on Film #3 by John King

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999)

Shakespeare’s language is sometimes poopooed by naïve readers as too old. I have, as a professor, been told good-naturedly by sniffing students that he wrote in Old English. In fact, Shakespeare is too new for the Middle English of Chaucer. His language is modern.

His style, on the other hand, is a beautiful monster that is unique, throughout history, to him. Compare him to his contemporaries—they are not difficult to understand. The power of Shakespeare’s language has to do with how deeply he saw into the human condition, and how he created a style capable of expressing it. He did so with bathos, mixing erudition and country speech. He did so by letting speech extend itself in soliloquies, the forerunner of the internal monologues of the Modernist era. He did so with the giddy delight of a genius, using every word at his disposal.

While good actors make the language natural and relatively easy to understand through the context of performance, film directors who approach the bard often feel a certain zap upon their heads. How can they compete with the amazing fire of his words?

One gesture, in visual and musical terms, is pomp, to make the scene a triumph of grandeur … and this can sometimes work, although by now it’s a cliché of Shakespeare films, and tends to be the most unimaginative point-of-entry for fleshing out the plays. Oh, it’s Shakespeare, so polish the brass and gold, wear finery, tell the orchestra to make the listeners’ nipples hard.

a midsummer nights dream poster

In Michael Hoffman’s 1999 adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the solution was to relocate the play to Italy, and use opera and Felix Mendelssohn’s music to parallel the grandeur of Shakespearean language. Verdi’s “Brindisi,” the delightful drinking song from La Traviata, appears several times. The musicality of Italian opera smoothens out the potential strangeness of the play’s words.

This movie thrived on what is often one of the pitfalls of Shakespearean casting: Hollywood. Kevin Kline and Michelle Pfeiffer have top billing, and they don’t disappoint. Kevin Kline manages to imbue Nick Bottom, the excitable amateur actor, with humane empathy while still exploiting the part for broad laughter.

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Michelle Pfeiffer, siren of current day lyricists, is credibly sexy and regal as the Fairy Queen.

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Rupert Everett as the fairy king Oberon and Stanley Tucci as his satyr servant Puck seem really wonderful together, subtly reactive to one another’s performance, but comically out-of-synch.

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Sam Rockwell as the amateur actor Francis Flute steals a scene late in the play, suggesting the amazing actor he would later become. Calista Flockhart, as the woebegone Helena, turns out to be much funnier than I could have anticipated from those scary ninety seconds when I tried to watch Ally McBeal back in 1998.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, Calista Flockhart, Christian Bale, 1999, © Fox Searchlight  TM and Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.

The movie has a deep bench, including numerous actors who would become famous after this movie, like Christian Bale and Dominic West (that guy from The Wire).

David Straithern, as King Theseus, gives the only wooden performance, as if he could not get past remembering the lines in order to emote anything from them. Sophie Marceau (who was the princess in Braveheart and Elektra Kane is The World is Not Enough) easily outacts him in this movie, even though English is not her first language.

The first Hollywood go at this play (1935) starred Olivia de Havilland, James Cagney, and Mickey Rooney. The thing is beyond unwatchable.

a-midsummer-nights-dream 1935

When my doctor says I can drink again, I’ll try to review it.

This 1999 version may be the most fun film of Shakespeare’s work. Dream is, after all, a comedy. It is a love story, but the theme is that love is an inexplicable form of madness.

A Midsummer Nights Dream

So, you know, the story is true.

_______

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John King (Episode, well, all of them) is a podcaster, writer, and ferret wrangler.

Episode 168: Eleanor Lerman!

Episode 168 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.


Check out the great perks for The Drunken Odyssey’s fundraiser here.


In this week’s episode, I talk to the poet and novelist Eleanor Lerman,

Eleanor Lerman

plus Nancy Caronia reads her essay, “Quiet.”

Nancy Caronia

TEXTS DISCUSSED

radiomenNOTES

Check out the great perks for The Drunken Odyssey’s fundraiser here.

If you live in Orlando, check out Meg Sefton’s upcoming workshop on the fundamentals of flash fiction here. It will take place on September 27, 2015.

To read about Kate Gale’s controversial piece about AWP’s diversity issues, check out this LA Times story. To read her apology, go to her personal blog.

Nancy Caronia’s “Quiet” first appeared on The New Delta Review.


Episode 168 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.

The Curator of Schlock #101: Hell Comes to Frogtown

The Curator of Schlock #101 by Jeff Shuster

Hell Comes to Frogtown

(Frog People Got No Reason to Live)

One would think that after one hundred blogs that your humble curator would be an expert on all things schlock, but even I still get surprised sometimes. Case in point, Hell Comes to Frogtown, the 1988 cult hit from directors Donald G. Jackson and R. J. Kizer–wait a minute! How can you have two directors on one movie? They’re not even brothers…I think. The DVD didn’t even come with an audio commentary track.

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By the way, this was a tough DVD to track down. There must of have been a rush on them with the sad passing of Roddy Piper.  He plays Sam Hell, a wandering vagabond, one of the last virile men left in the world after the nuclear apocalypse. Yeah, it seems that countries started flinging nukes at each other until everything was obliterated. I blame the Commies. It’s always the Commies!

Frogtown3

Anyway, some post apocalyptic medical company makes him sign a membership contract so that his membership can be used impregnate the few remaining fertile women left on planet Earth. Sam Hell has an unusually high sperm count, which Sam Hell chalks up to all that fiber he ate when he was a kid. They make him wear an electronic jock strap that shocks his twig and berries should try to initiate anything with any infertile women.

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If Mad Max Fury Road taught me anything, it’s how valuable fertile women are after a nuclear apocalypse.  In fact, Fury Road follows the plot of Frogtown so closely that you could almost accuse George Miller of plagiarism. Switch out the War Boys for a bunch of talking frogs and you basically have the same movie.

Yeah, there are talking frogs in this movie. They’re kept on a reservation, and I don’t want to hear any of you “frogs have rights” activists pitching a fit over the fact that I support the idea of talking frog reservations. They have the bad habit of stealing our fertile women.

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The leader of the frogs is named Toady and he’s a real piece of work. He makes the captive women dance the “Dance of the Three Snakes” and you don’t want to know what that’s about. Anyway, Sam Hell infiltrates the frog reservation with Nurse Spangle (Sandahl Bergman) in disguise as a slave girl. They escape with the women, there’s a desert car chase, and Sam Hell fights the evil Toady to the death! You know, they should really put mutant frogs in the next Mad Max movie. Just make Hell Comes to Frogtown part of the Mad Max cinematic universe, George Miller!


Roddy Piper

April 17, 1954-july 31, 2015

Roddy_Piper

 I hope you’re kicking ass and chewing bubblegum in the next world just as you did in this one.

_______

Photo by Leslie Salas

Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124, and episode 131) is an MFA candidate at the University of Central Florida.

McMillan’s Codex #1: A Manifesto

McMillan’s Codex #1 by C.T. McMillan

A Manifesto

Videogames today are going through a renaissance—kind of.  Among the avalanches of annual shovel-ware titles are a few gems.  Why, in this time of advanced development technologies are games suffering the same fate of the film industry?  Why are there less art and more product?

The years before the 1980s were the decades of the auteur in Hollywood.  Directors had near absolute control over their projects, free to do as they wished as long as they remained within the reasonable limits of budget.

Speilberg JawsThe results were uncanny, giving way to such classics as The Godfather, Jaws, Taxi Driver, Apocalypse Now, and Star Wars.  It was not until director-controlled titles began to flounder and cost millions in losses that the entire system was rebuilt.  No longer could directors do what they wanted without constant oversight from the producers.  Gradually the quality of movies waned into degradation, reduced to soulless product.

While the decay of videogames did not happen in the same fashion, both instances are similar.  I remember when games had a quality next to none in entertainment.  Call of Duty was one such title, its gameplay and cinematic moments awe inspiring before everything changed.

Screen Shot 2015-08-22 at 6.00.56 PMWith popularity comes a ferocious demand many developers are often too eager to supply.  Less time was devoted to making something memorable in exchange for quick moments of entertainment like multiplayer gaming.  Content was intentionally extracted from games and sold separately, compounding the burden on customers who already paid the full price.

But a few games are transcendent.  Developers take their time making the experience worth more than a couple hours of single player fun and a vehicle for multiplayer.  Every aspect of those games contains a depth not often seen in contemporary titles.

In “Games, stay away from art. Please,” Eric Zimmerman argues that video games are not worthy of being called art because they are not aesthetically compelling enough to be regarded as art museum masterpieces.  Using art does not mean that a product, such as a video game, is itself art, just like art on the walls do not make a home or the life lived between those walls a work of art. Oddly, Zimmerman sees art as a dead thing.

I disagree with him about art, and more importantly I disagree with him about video games and their potential as fine art. Yes, video games are new, hybrid forms that take on qualities from a variety of sources. There is an emphasis on craft in video game creation that often seems at the expense of story, of vision. Craft allows for an assembly line of semi-fun titles.

But there are also games out there that are transformative. Such, along with some interesting detours, will be explored in in McMillan’s Codex.

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Charles McMillanC.T. McMillan is a film critic and a devout gamer.  He has a Bachelors for Creative Writing in Entertainment from Full Sail University.

The Rogue’s Guide to Shakespeare on Film #2: Titus (1999)

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Rogues Guide to Shakes on Film 2The Rogue’s Guide to Shakespeare on Film #2 by John King

Titus (1999)

If a postmodern, ahistorical approach to Shakespeare repulsed me in the hands of Baz Luhrmann, that aesthetic charms the shit out of me in the hands of Julie Taymor in her adaptation of the brutal, early Shakespeare play, Titus Andronicus.

Titus Poster

For example, the campaigning of those who would be emperor of Rome, as well as the victory party of the successful consul, is accompanied by the syncopated horns of swing jazz. The middle of the twentieth century (fascism, cars, music, technology) is conflated with the architecture, aesthetics, and technology of ancient Rome without any sense of self-congratulation (a la Baz Luhrmann). The viewer doesn’t get the sense that the director thinks all art is beautiful and crazy.

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Rather, one gets the sense that the violence of antiquity and the present day are rooted in the continuous psychology of the human race.

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The film begins with a little boy smashing a variety of his toys (fighter planes, Roman soldiers, wind-up robots) and desserts before a loud television in a rage of childish glee.

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The building he is in is bombed as Titus Andronicus returns with the Roman army in a triumph that belies his weariness at having killed so many, at having lost so many, including his sons. The boy from the opening scene will turn out to be Lucius, Titus’s grandson.

The difference, of course, is that Julie Taymor imagines that art might matter, that the mad fugue of smashing that young Lucius undertakes is not, as Bas Luhrmann seems to think, the sum total of art itself, even if such anarchy might be a part of art, and a significant part of the human condition. We should not be content with that.

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When you have a screenplay involving ritual slayings, dismemberment, and cannibalism, it helps if Anthony Hopkins is your lead actor; what makes Titus even more disturbing than The Silence of the Lambs, however, is that the story isn’t some vamp on abnormal psychology. The carnage and psychosis of Titus Andronicus is the entirely natural outgrowth of honor and tribalism and war. Clarice Starling represented us trying to see into the mind of madness; the characters of Titus probably are us.

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Which is to say Anthony Hopkins is playing a much different character, and really one needs a man of almost unthinkable stature and humility to play this part of the general who does not want to rule Rome. The bombast of the role would sound absurd of a lesser actor. Somehow, Hopkins gives this character a scope one can, despite the odds, empathize with.

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Jessica Lange, as Tamora, the vengeful, conquered queen of the Goths, is also deeply impressive, and holds her own against Anthony Hopkins.

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Alan Cumming, as Saturninus, is a wonderfully campy tyrant–equal parts Marilyn Manson, Pee Wee Herman, and Hitler.

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Harry Lennix, as Aaron, however, is what makes Titus the most sublime.

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Aaron the Moor is Shakespeare’s other black part, except that Aaron is all Iago and not at all like Othello. He is Shakespeare’s greatest villain, and his malevolence is astounding. Yet we are given to know why he is willing to destroy so much, and like Richard III has decided to relish the villainous role that has been given to him.

The great strength of Shakespeare is in his characterization, the depth of his understanding of human psychology centuries before this was a mode of human inquiry. We are still learning from him what it means to be human.

We don’t need Shakespeare to seem dusty, or appropriately Elizabethan or medieval or ancient or purely historically accurate (although a thoughtless carelessness with historical setting is disappointing). We don’t need Shakespeare to be acted by the English. We just need good actors, and a director who understands the poetry and the psychology of the words. With Titus, the cast and director Julie Taymor would have pleased Shakespeare immensely, although he would, of course, be impatient for his royalties, should he have lived so long.

_______

1flip

John King (Episode, well, all of them) is a podcaster, writer, and ferret wrangler.

Episode 167: There Will Be Fan Fiction!

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Episode 167 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.

In this week’s episode, I share a recording of a fan fiction installment of Jesse Bradley’s prose reading series, There Will Be Words.

J. Bradley by Pat Greene

The There Will Be Fan Fiction featured

Teege Braune

Small Wonder

Teege Braune by Pat Greene

Jared Silvia

King of the Hill

Jared Silvia by Pat Greene

Stephanie Rizzo

Lewis and Clark

Stephanie Rizzo by Pat Greene

Genevieve Anna Tyrrell

Dexter

Genevieve Anna Tyrell by Pat Greene

and moi.

Benny Hill Ace Frehley

John King by Pat Greene


NOTES

Check out the great perks for The Drunken Odyssey’s fundraiser here.

Check out There Will Be Words.


 

Episode 167 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.

The Curator of Schlock #100: Summer Movie Mania!

The Curator of Schlock #100 by Jeff Shuster

Summer Movie Mania

I thought to celebrate my 100th blog entry, I would opine on the various summer blockbusters I had the good fortune (or misfortune) to see this summer. Let’s get busy!

100-A

Avengers: Age of Ultron

No.

I’m sorry, but no.

This is where I lose faith in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the whole idea of cinematic universes. I thought this movie was going to be about a bunch of superheroes fighting an army of evil robots.

Yeah, okay, we get that in this movie, but we know Ultron isn’t a real threat because the movie spends half its bloated runningtime preparing us for Thor 3 and Avengers 3 and 4. Disney, you don’t have sell me on future Marvel sequels while I’m in the middle of watching a Marvel movie. And you don’t have to remind me of the Infinity Stones for hundredth time!

All I want to see is killer robots.

That’s what I paid to see!

 100-B

Mad Max Fury Road

I don’t think I ever really understood the character of Mad Max in the old Mel Gibson movies anymore than I understand the new Tom Hardy version, but we like Tom Hardy over here at the Museum of Schlock mainly for his portrayal of the Batman villain Bane which is the third best Bane performance next to Henry Silva on Batman the Animated Series and that scrawny dude from Batman and Robin.

What I did see in Mad Max Fury Road was Tom Hardy eating live lizards, Charlize Theron with a mechanical robot arm, some disgusting dude with a skull jaw-bone er gasmask attached to his face. I think the bad guy was chasing Max because he stole a tanker full of breast milk.

The whole movie is a blur.

I saw that one in 3D and wearing those 3D glasses always makes me want to pass out. I saw Man of Steel in 3D and the only thing I remember about that movie is that Superman failed to save the Smallville IHOP from getting destroyed. Some superhero he turned out to be.

 100-C

Pitch Perfect 2

If you liked Pitch Perfect, you’ll like the sequel. We get an evil German A Capella group who really aren’t that evil, they’re just really good at A Capella and they show up our heroines from the first movie. Elizabeth Banks makes her directorial debut with this movie. John Michael Higgins shows up again which is also a plus. Did you know he guest starred on Numb3rs?


100-D

San Andreas

 Oh boy. It’s Dwayne Johnson versus a 9.1 earthquake and…well…the earthquake still wins, but Dwayne Johnson still manages to rescue his daughter and his estranged wife played by Carla Gugino.

Don’t worry! They get back together at the end of the movie!

I remember some British tourists and Paul Giamatti and the evil jerk of a boyfriend of Carla Gugino who gets what’s coming to him! Still, after 2012, disaster movies leave me a bit flat. After you see the world get destroyed, seeing San Francisco fall apart just doesn’t compare.

100-E Jurassic World

Best movie of the summer, hands down! Jurassic World feels like a send up to 70s disaster movies if 70s disaster movies had dinosaurs in them! Vincent D’Onofrio steals the show has a military industrialist with a raptor complex. “Imagine if we’d had these at Tora Bora,” he says. All I imagine the raptors doing is eating everyone.

100-F

Inside Out

 I didn’t go see Inside Out because I don’t watch movies for babies!

100-G

Terminator: Genisys

 Again, I go to see a movie about people fighting evil robots and I get stupidity.

This time Skynet wants to use tablets to cause Judgement Day. It would have been funny if the heroes hadn’t managed to stop Skynet only to see Skynet fail due to tablets not being powerful enough to pull off Judgement Day.

Skynet was played Matt Smith.

Ahhhnold plays an old man Terminator.

They’re planning two sequels.

I can’t wait.

100-H

Mission Impossible-Rogue Nation

I like these movies. Whoever came up with the idea of teaming Tom Cruise with Simon Pegg is a genius. I don’t know who played the bad guy, but he was really evil and he reminded me of a turtle for some reason. There are car chases and bad guys shooting at good guys while they’re driving and then the cars crash into things. That’s how I like my summer movies!

And then Simon Pegg says something witty. That’s all I need.

_______

Jeffrey Shuster 3

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124, and episode 131) is an MFA candidate at the University of Central Florida.

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