Thursday, May 31, 2018

That really is a gorgeous man.

Miniature work for 1973's The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. Little more than a rehash of prior "Sinbad" films, they really poured money into this one to make it stylish. In that regard, it's one of the better productions. After much fixation with generic European "magic" (dressed up in Arabian robes, but still your basic English wizard), the producers wanted something different this time around. They settled on Hinduism. Hindu mysticism, they felt, wasn't well-known by Americans (the primary audience for this film), and yet it carried with it a sense of the ancient. Moreover, Hindu "magic" represented an unrefined, more primitive, basic kind of magic that would restore the sense of wonder that such movies aimed at creating.

That must be one interesting orgy.

Ah, young love...

It's not that kids say the darnedest things.

They say the creepiest things.

I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here. The article I wrote or assisted with is in bold.
Did You Know ... that after four administrations expressed dissatisfaction with the "yellow fever" (overuse of the color yellow) in the White House Family Dining Room, the Obamas transformed it into a modern space featuring African American artists?

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

I went to the wrong college. I never saw guys like this!

Over the past few months, Roseanne Barr accused a survivor of the high school shooting in Parkland of giving a Nazi salute

She also promoted a conspiracy theory about Trump breaking up a child sex trafficking ring including prominent Democrats.

Barr also falsely accused Democratic billionaire George Soros, 87, of being a Nazi "who turned in his fellow Jews 2 be murdered in German concentration camps & stole their wealth." Donald Trump Jr. shared Barr’s Soros tweets.

Do you think ABC dumped her now, just because she compared a black woman to an ape? Nope. It's because advertisers bailed.


Wow. And you think politics today is rough?

Any lower, Mr. Bond, and my ears will pop.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day.
Remembering and honoring war dead.

Civil War Unknowns Memorial - looking NE - Arlington National Cemetery - 2011
Memorial Day
A time for remembering those who died defending their country.

Section 14 Union soldiers graves - Woodland Cemetery
Memorial Day
A time to remember those who died defending their country.

unknown grave 03 - USS Maine field of the dead- Arlington National Cemetery - 2013-08-24
Memorial Day
A time to remember those who died defending their country.

looking E past Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - Arlington National Cemetery - 2013-08-24

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Maybe the hat will mean he won't get an ice cream headache?

If you try to post one of the Washington Post's links to Google-plus, it won't work. Oh, it will pull an image. That's all. No headline. No article synopsis.

I've contacted WaPo. After almost three weeks, their response is, "Something changed on Google's end. We've contacted them, but have gotten no response."

You know, every other web site in the whole wide world manages to get their headlines and article synopses onto Google-plus. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

Except the Post.

Now, why is that? And why did WaPo Customer Service give me such a shit-poor, obviously ludicrous, response?

Fondly remembering the legendary actor Peter Cushing (26 May 1913 – 11 August 1994)

May 26, 1897 -- Dracula, the horror novel by Bram Stoker, is published.

Scott Pruitt killed Krypton.

His future's so bright, he's gotta wear shades.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (aka Godzilla 2) is moving to May 31, 2019, instead of March 22, 2019. The move reflects Warner Bros.' growing confidence in the film.

The film is directed by Michael Dougherty, who first came to prominence as the writer of X2 in 2004. He also wrote the 2005 supernatural film Urban Legends: Bloody Mary and 2006's Superman Returns. He then wrote, directed, and produced the outstanding horror anthology film Trick r Treat in 2007. He wrote, directed, and produced the 2015 horror film Krampus. (The film is considered a failure, but its budget was just $15 million and it made $62 million. That equates to a $15 million profit for the studio.) He then wrote X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016.

The producers are:
  • Mary Parent (Pleasantville, Pacific Rim, The Revenant, Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island, Pacific Rim: Uprising; she is the former president of production at Universal).
  • Thomas Tull (Superman Returns, Trick 'r Treat, The Dark Knight, Watchmen, Clash of the Titans, Inception, Wrath of the Titans, The Dark Knight Rises, Jack the Giant Slayer, Man of Steel, Pacific Rim, Godzilla, Interstellar, Jurassic World, Krampus, Kong: Skull Island, Pacific Rim: Uprising; he is the former CEO of Legendary Entertainment).
  • Alex Garcia (executive in charge of production on TV's House; executive producer of Trick r Treat, Jack the Giant Slayer, Godzilla; producer on Krampus and Kong: Skull Island).
  • Jon Jashni (former President of Legendary Entertainment; executive producer of TV's Lost in Space; executive producer of Trick r Treat, Clash of the Titans, Wrath of the Titans, Jack the Giant Slayer; producer of Pacific Rim, Godzilla, Krampus, Kong: Skull Island, Pacific Rim: Uprising).
  • Brian Rogers (a former Visual Effects Producer for The Hole, Green Lantern, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2; and a producer on Godzilla).
The screenwriters are Doughtery, Max Borenstein, and Zach Shields. Borenstein is one of those legendary screenwriters whose scripts are considered the best floating around Hollywood -- but which never get made. He wrote all the episodes for TV's Minority Report, and executive produced some episodes. He also wrote Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island. Shields is a newcomer who co-wrote Krampus with Dougherty and executive produced it. Godzilla 2 is his first feature-film screenplay.

Lawrence Sher is the cinematographer. His list of credits is long, but not terrible impressive. It includes Kissing Jessica Stein, Garden State, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Hangover, The Hangover 2, and War Dogs, and additional photography on Godzilla.

Roger Barton is the editor. He's done Pearl Harbor, Ghost Ship, The Amityville Horror, Revenge of the Sith, Eragon, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, World War Z, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Transformers Genisys, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and Transformers: The Last Knight.

Scott Chambliss is the production designer. His credits include the TV series Alias, and the films Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek, Cowboys & Aliens, Tomorrowland, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Legacy Effects is handling the special effects. They specialize in creature design, prosthetic makeup, animatronics, and specialty suits. Their films include Avatar, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Huntsman, Life of Pi, Thor, RoboCop, Pacific Rim, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Terminator Salvation, Terminator Genisys, and Jurassic World. They did character and creature design for Godzilla, John Carter, The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, Cowboys & Aliens, Hunger Games, and Avatar. They were nominated for the Best Visual Effects Oscar for Real Steel and Iron Man. They've also done special effects for the TV shows Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Colony, and Agent Carter.

Method Studios is handling the visual effects. They specialize in conceptual design, 3D animation/CGI, matte painting, and compositing and finishing. Their feature film work includes Avengers: Infinity War, A Wrinkle in Time, Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Doctor Strange, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Captain America: Civil War, Ant-Man, The Maze Runner, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: The First Avenger, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In July 2014, just a month after the Godzilla premire, Legendary announced it had licensed King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Rodan from Toho Studios and would use the characters in the Godzilla sequel.

In September 2014, Legendary said Max Borenstein would return to script the sequel.

Gareth Edwards was originally supposed to return to direct the film. But he was delayed while working on Rogue One, and in May 2016 he left the Godzilla project. Edwards indicated that he would not return to Godzilla 2, even once Rogue One was finished. (In fact, Edwards has nothing in the works these days. He says he wants to work on smaller projects in the future.)

In October 2016, Legendary hired Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields to take over screenplay duties on Godzilla 2, and Dougherty would direct the film. It's not entirely clear why Borenstein left the script, which seemed pretty much complete by this point. But Borenstein had only written the first draft of Godzilla, and it seems he wasn't interested in doing more than that for the sequel, either.

Casting began in late January 2017. Millie Bobby Brown has a key role, with Kyle Chandler and Vera Farmiga as her parents. Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins will return as the Monarch scientists. 39-year-old Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) was cast late in the process in a major role.

Principal photography began on June 19, 2017. Location shooting occurred in Atlanta and Mexico City, with soundstage work at Qingdao Movie Metropolis facility in Qingdao, China. Principal photography wrapped on September 27, 2017.

Mo-cap work began in May 2018.

They've been spending a VERY long time on the visual effects. In comparison, The Avengers: Infinity War began principal photography in January 2017 and finished in July 2017, with pickup shots and reshoots in September and October 2017. That film's visual effects were completed between July 2017 and early April 2018, in just eight months.

Godzilla 2 has been at work on visual effects for seven months already, and they will work on them for another FULL YEAR.

This film better be the shit in terms of how it looks, or I'm going to get a gas can and burn down a couple studios.... LOL
He made me cry.

Dear Lord,

I am so glad you made someone to make this.

Your friend,

Trump bullied and threatened, and then the little snowflake got upset when someone called Mike Pence a "dummy".

♫ Doctor, doctor, gimme the news ♪ I gotta bad case of lovin' you!


Thursday, May 24, 2018

White people moaning about surviving Trump for another two and a half years.... "I do not know how we can survive 2 1/2 more years of his presidency."

Yeah. Whatever.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

What fantastic legs. Too bad he shaves half of them, like some poseur.

"H'El on Earth" is a Superman crossover story arc published by DC Comics in Superman Vol. 3 #13-17, Superboy Vol. 6 #14-17, Superboy Annual #1, and Supergirl Vol. 6 #14-17 from October 2012 to February 2013.

The story begins as Kon-El, a telekinetic genetically-engineered to mimic the powers of Superboy, H'El. H'El claims to be a Kryptonian. Clones were outlawed on Krypton, and H'El believes Superboy to be an abomination. H'El easily outmatches Superboy and teleports away with him. H'El later kidnaps Supergirl while she sleeps, taking her to the Sun. He shows her the unconscious body of Superboy, and explains that he was sent to Earth by her Jor-El before the destruction of Krypton. He says he has a plan to save Krypton, and shows her the unconscious body of Superboy (which she also believes is an abomination). Supergirl introduces H'El to Superman. H'El tries to kill Superboy, but Superman stops him. Superboy wakes, and he and Supergirl attempt to intervene. H'El critically injures Superboy and knocks Supergirl out. He implants a telepathic illusion in Supergirl's mind, making it appear as if Superman attacked her.

Superman brings Superboy to the Fortress of Solitude, where he places the teenager in Kryptonian battle armor to keep him alive. H'El and Supergirl appear, and Superman flees the Fortress with Superboy to save Superboy's life. Supergirl enters the Bottle City of Kandor and retrieves a crystal. Suspecting H'El is not a natural Kryptonian, Superman talks to Lex Luthor (who bioengineered Superboy). Luthor argues that the only way to save Krypton is to go back in time. To do so, H'El will need a Kryptonian crystal and the entire energy of the Sun. H'El will destroy the Solar System to save Krypton, and Luthor mocks Superman by saying that he will have to kill H'El to do so.

With the Justice League's help, Superman tries to stop H'El. He traps Superman using an alien imprisonment device that shunts the Man of Steel into a parallel dimension. Superboy saves him, but by the time they return H'El has already activated his time machine. H'el takes the armor off Superboy and battles Superman. Wonder Woman uses he magic lasso to force Supergirl to see how H'El has lied to her. H'El disappears into the past. A dying Superboy destroys the machine, saving the Earth. Superman saves Superboy by replacing the armor.

In an epilogue, a young Jor-El finds an injured H'El in a cave deep below Krypton's surface.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A year later, from October to November 2013, the "H'El on Earth" story is concluded in "Krypton Returns". That was another crossover story that occurred in Action Comics Annual #2, Superman Vol. 3 #23.3, Superman Vol. 3 #25, Superboy Vol. 6 #25, and Supergirl Vol. 6 #25.

H'El is in a coma, and Jor-El had been running experiments on him to determine what kind of creature he is (since he is obviously not a pure Kryptonian). H'El's telepathic mind is awake, however, and he listens in as Jor-El tells his friend, Zod, about his plan to collect genetic material from through Kryptonian history and launch it in a spacecraft to Earth. H'El realizes he is a product of this genetic material. He wakes, kills Jor-El and Zod, and launches the ship (ensuring his own creation).

Superman, Supergirl, and Superboy (Kon-El) arrive at Krypton's location in the present-day. They discover H'El has saved the planet and enslaved the population. Massive temporal disruptions pulse through space, and Superman realizes H'El has traveled through time repeatedly to save the planet from destruction. These temporal distortions threaten to destroy the universe. They decide to travel to different points in time to stop H'El: Supergirl travels deep into Krypton's past to prevent the clone rebellion from damaging Krypton. Superman travels to Kryptonopolis the month Krypton's destruction to stop H'El when he first arrives. Superboy travels to Argo City a week before Krypton's destruction to make sure Kara escapes to Earth.

The Great War (also known as the Clone War) occurred 100,000 years in Krypton's past. For 10 millennia, Kryptonians had used cloning technology to make themselves immortal. When an alien known as The Cleric arrived on Krypton, he sparked a debate as to whether clones had rights. This ignited a thousand-year-war, during which Krypton was turned from a lush paradise into a blasted ruin of a world, the population living in isolated citadels of high-technology. One "purist", Kem-L, steals The Cleric's "Eradicator" (a device intended to keep the Cleric alive by purging damaged DNA from his aging body) after a large group of Kryptonians announced their decision to leave the planet. He changes their DNA so they become allergic to the common element lead (inadvertently creating the Daxamite race). Realizing this is not enough to stop further emigration, Kem-L uses the Eradicator to alter the DNA of all Kryptonians -- causing them to die if they leave their homeworld. Although The Cleric regains control of his Eradicator and leaves Krypton, the damage done to Kryptonian DNA cannot be reversed. During the Great War, a pro-clone rights group creates an atomic gun to destroy Krypton. Although the "Destroyer" is turned off and everyone thinks the planet is safe, in fact the process has only been slowed down. (This is why Krypton explodes at the time of Jor-El.)

Supergirl realizes that H'El changes history by defeating the pro-clone rights rebels. This prevents them from creating the Destroyer. When Supergirl arrives at the Great War, her anti-clone bias leads a battalion of clones to attack her. She defeats them but is seriously weakened. She encounters H'El and they fight. The clones, realizing Supergirl is attacking their enemy, help her. H'El is defeated, and commits suicide once he realizes he has not saved Krypton. Supergirl returns to the present.

Arriving at Argo City, Superboy meets Kara Zor-L. He's attacked by the Eradicator, which has returned to Krypton. The Eradicator, somewhat sentient, has come to see Kryptonians as biologically impaired and now wants to ensure that all Kryptonians die when the planet explodes. Superboy defeats the Eradicator, but is distracted by the arrival of Superman's mother, Lara. The Eradicator attacks again, and Superboy uses a warp conduit to shunt it onto Earth into the present. H'El shows up and attacks Superboy. Superboy realizes H'El is not nearly as strong as he was in the past. He figures out that if H'El is injured at one point in time, he will take damage in all points in time. As H'El dies in the past, H'El disappears in Argo city.

In Kryptonopolis, Superman meets his father, Jor-El. Only this is a Jor-El from both an alternative timeline and the future. This version of Jor-El tells Superman that he created H'El. Somehow, H'El survived the destruction of Krypton. With Krypton just minutes from destruction, Superman and Alterna-Future Jor-El travel deep into Krypton where they confront H'El. Superman realizes that H'El didn't just travel back in time; He'L gave himself the ability to appear in multiple points of time at once. Killing him, as Jor-El suggests, won't actually stop him. Superman freezes the suicide-weakened H'El in place using his super-breath. H'El is left at Krypton's core to have his molecules dispersed when the planet explodes. Superman returns to the present.

Superboy realizes Krypton is about to explode, and uses his powers to save Argo City by ripping it from Krypton's crust and hurling it into outer space.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Kon-El was introduced during "Death of Superman" story arc in 1998. For 15 years, Kon-El had believed himself to be no more than a "living weapon", a freakish biological construct intended to destroy Superman. He worried about whether he actually had a soul, rights, or free will. He constantly second-guessed himself, even as he showed that he had a kind heart, strong moral code, and a powerful commitment to doing good even when everyone told him it was the wrong thing to do.

Realizing that Argo City won't just "come free" of Krypton of its own accord, Superboy/Kon-El realizes he is fated to die saving Supergirl and saving the future.

This is one of the most poignant scenes in comic book history.

* - Quite naturally, no one ever dies in comic books. Superboy/Kon-El is plucked from the moment of his death by a mysterious alien known as the Oracle, who has him patrolling time to ensure the damage H'El caused is rectified. He later returns to Earth. DC Comics just wiped him out again 2016 when Doctor Manhattan wipes out 10 years of DC Comics multiverse history. This allowed DC Comics to reboot its multiverse for the fourth time in 10 years. He never existed, which is sad -- because Kon-El was one of the most exciting things to happen to Superman in decades.

Lighting matters in sculpture.

This is a test done by Daniel Chester French, who designed and sculpted the statue of Abraham Lincoln that is in the Lincoln Memorial.

French intended his statue to be lit from above. This creates deep shadows in the eyes, and sculpts the cheeks, making Lincoln look serious.

National Park Service employees initially lit the statue from below. The shadows cast by the eyebrows, the over-lit face, and the waves of the hair made Lincoln look terribly surprised to be there.

An outraged French practially tore the electrical cables from the walls. The lighting scheme was swiftly revised.....