Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Dream Cast

Hello again, my fellow film buffs, I just wanted to give my two cents worth to you all once again... simply because a) I've recently picked up the pace again, thus rendering my writer's block a near extinct facet of my psyche/thing of the past, and b) I really dig this whole new series of dream cast lineups; which tends to keep the creative juices flowing long enough, simply when I can't think of something better to write. Not that this here piece is filler or anything, far from it... a lot of thought went into this dream cast lineup proposal, so pay attention!

As you may all already be aware, I hadn't written some blog posts in quite some time, and had to resort to the usual public service ads (i.e. filler material) that I let loose every now and again to help out some of my friends that are currently up to something, but ever since that incident with the old woman hitting the postal service entrance on Monday... I figured I might as well live every moment as if it were my last and every minute as if it were my first; before I spring myself off of this mortal coil and whatnot. So, since I'm still under the impression that I still have a few good ideas left in me, here goes... This here's my latest piece that I'd like to share with all of you fellow Hitchhiker's out there in the blogosphere.

Anyways, as you can already tell by the title, one of favorite books of all time, and its adaptation onto the big screen (without a doubt) is none other than: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I've always been fond of the original BBC production, which featured members of a yet even more original inception of the series, which was a BBC radio broadcast; going by the same name of course! The movie, on the other hand, had been in development hell for a little over two decades and finally made it to theaters in 2005. However, despite all the impressive visual effects, revamps, and little tweaks here and there to the original, it still doesn't match the brilliantly produced and awfully lower budgeted BBC television series, in my humble opinion. The shortcuts taken really didn't do the characters justice, such as that of Ford Prefect. His introduction into the story was almost completely butchered by the decision to have him wheeling in a shopping cart full of beer (or should I say pints of bitter?) so that he and Arthur can prepare for the hyperspace jump onboard a passing Vogon constructor fleet spacecraft... try saying that three times fast!

80's Cast

Gone was the clever exchange between the chief foreman of the demolition crew and Ford, which is one of the best moments from the television broadcast. What I do commend the casting department on was the actor that they chose as the demolition foreman; due to the fact that in the novel he's described as a far removed descendant of Genghis Khan, which is closer and truer to Douglas Adams' vision than the actor they chose to portray him in the television series. Another omission was the Dentrassi, which are in the in flight caterers responsible for beaming Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect onto the ship. That was perhaps one of the highly overlooked little tidbits, which may perhaps even be one the biggest plot holes out there. As some of you in the sci-fi geek community may know, Dentrassi dislike the Volgons and like to upset them by doing something like beaming stowaways aboard without the proper paperwork signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as fire lighters! I guess that's what happens when most of the budget for a film is spent on very gear looking Volgon costumes.

Another little gripe of mine is the trimmed down explanation of a Babel fish, omitting the whole God does not exist argument. It is featured in a deleted scene if you purchase the DVD, but I suppose the God fearing bible belt climate of film goers probably objected to it during test screenings, thus rendering it on the cutting room floor. What was clever was the substitution of the cow getting milked and falling in love with its farmhand. And cows, by the way are sacred in India... so maybe that was the best consolation prize they had to offer. Speaking of which, the character of Trillian Astra or Trisha McMillan as she's known on Earth was originally meant to be a slim, darkish humanoid, with long waves of black hair, a full mouth, an odd little knob of a nose and ridiculously brown eyes; to which I can only presume to be of an Indian-like descent; or to be more exact... in accordance with Douglas Adam's account; of an Arabic descent. Ford Prefect was described as being not conspicuously tall, with features that were striking but not conspicuously handsome. He had hair that was wiry and gingerish and brushed backwards from the temples. His skin seemed to be pulled backwards from the nose; all of this of course is almost the exact polar opposite of Mos Def, who's almost completely clean shaven for the film, and taller than you would expect Ford's character to be. The one thing that I do give him props for is the fact that he held onto his American accent for the film, making the claim that he was from Guildford seem yet even more odder than it actually was. The scene with him greeting an actual Ford Prefect automobile, under the impression that it was the highly evolved species on the planet, was also a very nice touch.

Still, I can go on and on about how I admire certain aspects from specific versions of this film and nitpick on a bunch of others. Everything is okay the way it is; and it will never be perfect, understandably. But, if the BBC does decide to perhaps consider developing the series once again (especially with its highly anticipated sequels) with a completely new cast, I'd urge them to consider this lineup. Arthur Dent should be played by Jack Davenport, simply because he's taller than your average apelike descendant (who probably knows no more of the history of the tea leaf than the East India trading company) while Ford Prefect could be best portrayed by David Tennant. Both of them hands down, are my number one choice. Oddly enough, Jack was also in the talks for playing Arthur in the movie version of this sci-fi classic, and Douglas Adams did write some episodes for Doctor Who, so it wouldn't be that much of a stretch to incorporate these two brilliant actors, based on that sort of obscure cosmic connection.

Dream Cast 1
L to R: Jack Davenport, David Tennant,
Emmanuelle Chriqui, Rhys Ifans

The characters of Trillian and Zaphod, on the other hand, are complete toss ups; heads or tails, that is. My first choice to play Trillian would be the gorgeous Emmanuelle Chriqui and Rhys Ifans could play the best interpretation of Zaphod Beeblebrox. Of course, in the busy world that is Hollywood, chances are that these actors and/or actresses can't make it due to some other kind of contractual obligation, which is usually why film projects take so long to make, or why sometimes you just gotta make do with what you got. So, let's just say that this project can't get the whole lineup together and they'd have to settle for alternate choices to play the parts and what have you. I, myself, couldn't think of anybody better suited for the main two roles, however I did a little thinking and thought up of some rather suitable second choices to play the parts for Trillian and Zaphod. And the nominees are (drumroll, please...)

Dream Cast 2
Alternate choices for Trillian and Tricia McMillan
L to R: Thandie Newton and Zoe Saldana

We ought to get Mick Jagger to play the role of Zaphod. No joke! Mick's no stranger to acting, for he has done his share of performances (pun) on film, and most importantly his flamboyant rock n' roll persona is almost the perfect embodiment of what Zaphod is, with just the right touch of bureaucratic incompetence to boot; which I'm definitely sure Mick can pull off ever so masterfully. And as for Trillian, it might be a good idea to enlist the services of Zoe Saldana and/or Thandie Newton, simply because she can easily bring just the right mix of brainy sophistication to the role (without a hitch). And also because people usually mistake them for one another... which would make perfect sense for the sequels to the first book, due to there being an alternate reality version of Trillian, so the inclusion of a celebrity doppelganger here would be brilliant! And the caveat to all this is that either one of them could play the role perfectly, that is... if the series were to last that long and not get canceled due to heavy production costs and what have you.  What would also be awesome would be to have cameos from the old cast. Like, for example, Mark Wing Davey can play Beeblebrox IV; ie. Zaphod's deceased great grandfather (as a great nod to the old series); and Simon Jones could play Max Quordlepleen while Geoffrey McGivern could play Hotblack Desiato, as they both suggested in this interview. So that's about it for me and this lame brained idea Hollywood... (which took about a month to write, since I'm such a literary slacker). Thanks for putting up with this fan's humble request.

And one more thing I almost forgot to mention... you must leave the soundtrack intact, so that the Eagles still get their fair due; because as you all know, it's their song Journey of the Sorcerer (hit play on the embedded video below) that was used as the main theme music for both the television series and the movie version.

This has been P.S. Elliott (or Dr. Gonzo XXVII) reporting for the disassociated press, that is... The Gnoyze Guitar Mods & More Web Blog.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Dream Cast

Hello again, my fellow film buffs... I just thought I'd put up this post before it was too late; meaning, before they announce the actual finalized and official lineup for the movie adaptation of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and not just put out some publicly announced speculation..., which I'm slowly developing a taste for, ever since I picked up the complete DVD collection of this classic 60's show as an import made and shipped directly from China (please visit this link for more details). Yes, that's right... it's cheaper, but sometimes you can tell it's a real bad bootleg because the video freezes up or the disc has been burnt incorrectly (i.e. wrong episode on the wrong disc)! But who cares? It's fun to welcome randomness like that into one's life... along with some pretty cool factory error'ed souvenirs, that were produced by slave driven labor... Far be it from me to not directly make a contribution to China's wealthy economy; because after all is said and done... I'm an American, with a capital I- A,M- A,N- Idiot!

Well, you can argue economics all you like, but it's basically a double edged sword here, when you come to think about it. Because for every penny that's thrown their way, you can either help feed one of their starving villages (if you can find one!) or bid farewell to about say... a million or so dollars that we have currently tied up in their business ventures. Hell, when you really come to think about it; I wouldn't be surprised if Asia moves into our country and leaves an eviction notice on our homes, which had recently been repossessed by all of our banks... oh wait, they own the banks to, sorry my bad! But always remember, you're in good hands! And speaking of good hands, can you please massage my back just a little further down? Yes, that's right! Thank you Kim. Your name is Kim, right? Oh what's that? I'm under arrest?!? But this is a health clinic, right? No I wasn't asking for you to perform an unsavory sexual act... I was just blogging about a bitchin' movie idea!

Okay, well--- before I go off on that tangent and attempt to plea my case before a court somewhere in a Mormon community somewhere; let's take a look at what I'd envision to be the perfect Man from U.N.C.L.E. cast, should Hollywood decide to listen to my insanity, that is! Just so you know, I'm working on a couple of script ideas, that will most likely be revised, re-edited, and revamped into a more passively compromised secondhand draft that I'll openly disavow any knowledge of and inevitably disown as coming from my imagination. So, with all that being said... here's what would have been the perfect dream cast.

Dream Cast 1
Dream Lineup No. 1 (L to R): Kyle MacLachlan,
Ben Foster, the late Pat Hingle.

This first lineup, which includes Kyle MacLachlan (of Twin Peaks fame), Ben Foster (the badass from 3:10 to Yuma), and Pat Hingle (who sadly passed away a few years back) is primarily based on the semblance to the original cast of Robert Vaughn, David McCallum, and Leo G. Carroll.

See for yourself...

Of course, a lineup like this is hard to put together, mainly because one of the actors is dead; this actor is no more; this actor has ceased to be (thank you Monty Python parrot sketch!) and also because of how vain and shallow the industry is sometimes towards actors in their forties. Just because we live in the age of stupid, where lines of experience and sage wisdom can simply be removed by a botox injection or some kind of surgical procedure that involves stretching of some flabby skin over to the back of the skull; simply to look youthful. That's the price they pay for vanity, folks! Anyways, I wouldn't doubt that some hot shot Hollywood mogul out there would make the stupid assumption that Mr. MacLachlan wouldn't be a strong enough contender for the lead role of Napoleon Solo simply because of his age, or some poor excuse like that... even though he bears quite a striking resemblance to Robert Vaughn. All you need to do is squint your eyes a bit and look at his chin and how his look like whenever he smiles. It's almost identical to Robert Vaughn's jaw line and pearly set of whites! So with that being said, here's the more likely cast that Hollywood will almost certainly go with...

Dream Cast 2
Dream Lineup No. 2 (L to R): George Clooney,
Sean William Scott, Eddie Izzard

I figure that there's a good chance George Clooney will play the role of Solo, simply because of his previous work with Steven Soderbergh (i.e. Out of Sight, which practically made Clooney a household name!) and Sean William Scott will most likely wind up with the role if someone else can't make it, possibly due to some busy scheduling conflicts. Eddie Izzard will most likely play Waverly, simply because he has worked with Clooney before (i.e. Ocean's Twelve and Thirteen) plus he's English, which gives him all the credentials (and upshot advantage) which are needed to play the role of Alexander Waverly. So there you go...Personally, I think that the ultimate line up would involve Kyle MacLachlan as Napoleon Solo, Ben Foster, for his uncanny resemblance to Illya Kuryakin, and Eddie Izzard as Alexander Waverly, which may require some slight aesthetic in the hair and makeup department to make Eddie look a bit older, but I'm sure he'd be the perfect shoe in for the job, either way! Plus, he's one of my favorite comedians, so I just couldn't pass up the chance to nominate him in the name of the prime minister of Burundi, whilst planting a flag on the moon and then proceeding to ask: "Is this the sea of tranquility?" I'm not too crazy about Soderbergh directing it though, since the directorial responsibilities should be given to Richard Donner... I mean, after all, he did direct a number of episodes from the original series. So why wouldn't it make sense for him to direct the film?!?

Also, as a little bonus trivia; which may or may not be an actual piece of trivia, but a really big coincidence here... when George Lucas and Steven Spielberg penned Indiana Jones, it was originally going to be called Indiana Smith; which I'm sure you die hard fans already know, but they were considering doing a James Bond type spy movie as an alternate project. Doesn't this little tidbit strike you as monumentally coincidental that Harrison Ford, who played Han Solo in George's earlier project Star Wars bears the same last name as Napoleon?!? And furthermore, the prop guns used in the movie and in the show (which was later edited into full movies as well) were both of the same lines of guns that were developed and made possible by the Third Reich! Solo's blaster was a modified Broomhandle Mauser C96 and the sensational prop gun featured in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was a Mauser Model 1934 Pocket Pistol, which was eventually replaced by a Walther P38 Pistol, simply because it was unreliable (i.e. kept jamming). Hmmm... just what is it about fallen dictatorships' choice of firearms that make for sensational movie prop weapons? I'll never know... There was even an episode where a character made a reference to a familiar group of unsavory characters (i.e. The Thugee cult) and later on the goddess Kali is mentioned. Ring a bell, folks? Looks like someone's liable to get sued here, folks!

Oh well, until next time... this has been Dr. Gonzo XXVII (AKA: P.S. Elliott; Special Agent in charge of Special Detail Section 7E - Northwest Sanitation Division) reporting for the International Agency of Smart Ass Remarks and Comments, otherwise known as the IASRC, but more commonly referred to as The Gnoyze Guitar Mods & More Web Blog. Open channel D!

P.S. Oh... and one more thing, this movie wouldn't be complete if it didn't feature any cameos by the members of the old cast, so Robert Vaughan and David McCallum should have to appear as a requisite, otherwise you shouldn't bother watching the film!

Top Seven Instrumentals

Hello friends, it's once again time for another top seven list live (or somewhat nearly declared dead) from our home office in Miami, Florida... the new tea bagger capital of the United States! Originally I had christened this blog post the top seven 60's Era Instrumentals, but due to the fact that I just couldn't keep the very popular Santo & Johnny tune on the list on account of a technicality (it was released in 1959... thus rendering any semblance of chronology here just a bit out of whack) so then I decided to re-entitle the blog post as The Top 7 Instrumentals of All Time, thus enabling me to include a number (or two) that didn't specifically pertain to the era of peace, love, and happiness, but may in fact cross over into the era of sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. In the end I decided against the "...Of All Time" suffix, because it was just downright omitting and a bit arrogant as well (directly and/or indirectly of course... since I usually like to keep my ears open to all kinds of music out there, and close them immediately if the music sounds like total shite as the King's English may proclaim) of various other pieces of instrumental music out there.

Through the process of elimination, I personally feel that these are the songs that have withstood the test of time and can easily be identified in several parts of world; with the exception of the younger generation residing in America, whom think that their parents are all just simply bent ole' bastards. But screw them, I mean... what in the hell do they know about popular music anyways? I also regret not including The Surfaris groundbreaking hit Wipe Out... simply on account of the fact that there was some vocals (or spoken word preceded by some cacophonous laughter) but oh well. With that being said, here's yet another...

Top 7 List
(Of Classic Instrumental Tracks)

7) Frankenstein - The Edgar Winter Group - Released in 1973

6) Albatross - Fleetwood Mac - Released in 1969

5) Sleepwalk - Santo & Johnny - Released in 1959

4) Pipeline - The Chantays - Released in 1963

3) Green Onions - Booker T & The MG's - Released in 1962

2) Miserlou - Dick Dale & the Del-Tones - Released in 1962

1) Yakety Sax - Boots Randolph - Released in 1963

You have been listening to the smooth and soniferous sounds of P.S. Elliott (AKA: Dr. Gonzo XXVII) reciting an ariatic piece from his debut album entitled The Gnoyze Guitar Mods & More Web Blog. Catch you on the flip side...!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Legend of Zelda Dream Cast

Greetings again my fellow film buffs, I just wanted to take this time to announce a new series of installments that all center around the usual nerdy/geeky movie buff's (such as me, myself, and I don't think so!) attempts to prove to the word that he knows a thing or two about the right casting decisions... more than the typical Hollywood machine would give him credit for--- or at least manage to pay some semblance of some pretty decent scale for.

I'd like to start off with this gem that I found whilst channel surfing the net. And that is the Legend of Zelda movie, which isn't exactly a movie, but more like a cruel practical joke (that just so happened to be put out there on April 1st) played by some pretty ingenuitive and highly elaborate production company. The actor portraying Link even looks like Jesse Eisenberg! You have to see this for yourself, so click on the player below...

Let's imagine, if you will, that there are not some pretty twisted sons of bitches out there who have nothing to do but to yank the proverbial cranks of some diehard followers of The Legend of Zelda franchise, and that some slick wheeling and dealing Hollywood producer would actually consider producing an actual live action film based on this highly successful gaming series. Well, let me just begin by offering you all what I believe to be the perfect dream cast.

For the role of the Elvin-like hero, the part should go (hands down) to Michael Cera. Reason being, that he's already had some experience playing an action adventure comic book superhero (i.e. Scott Pilgrim) so why not become step into the shoes of a legendary video game hero by the name of Link? It could happen...

As for our fair princess Zelda, let's give the part to our favorite cheerleader, whose world can be saved if we just save her in time! And that part should go to none other than Hayden Panettiere. All that's required here is just some minor adjustments to her ears (some left over Vulcan prosthetics should come in handy) and you've got yourself a heroine or damsel in distress (depending on how close the script will respect the source material and all)!

As for the villain, well... who better can fill the shoes of the evil wizard Gannon than Oliver Platt? Why not? He certainly looks like he can easily pull off the role of a pig-like demon, no? Well, technically, the character has a more boar-like appearance than anything. But still, Oliver did do a phenomenal job of making a pig of himself in the original Showtime series Huff (letter to the execs: why the hell did they have to cancel this show?!?)

And the part of the sage old man who guides Link along his quest (in the underworld dungeons, in the over world caves, and just about everywhere and anywhere else... kind of makes you wonder if they had hologram projection capabilities in Hyrule, doesn't it?) can easily be played by Sir Ian McKellen. I'm not exactly sure if he's been knighted yet or not, but what the hell? Any actor with a thick English accent deserves to be a Sir sooner or later in their career, no? All that's needed is some left over wardrobe from The Lord of the Rings films, with maybe some slight tailor made modifications here and there and you've got yourself some Oscar award winning material on your hands, here folks...

Who knows? Maybe we can get Tim Burton or maybe M. Night Shyamalan to direct it and/or write it (for that matter). And this choice of course, would mean that either Helena Bonham Carter and/or Johnny Depp would also be involved in the film. Perhaps, Johnny would be my second choice to play Ganon. Helena could easily pull off the part of the Old Woman. And my apologies if that last statement sounded like a jab against this actress' complexion... I'm simply going by the makeup work she underwent in the film Big Fish, when she was playing the part of the Witch. Anyways, this is just a crazy pitch of an idea that's most likely to go nowhere on my part (as usual). So don't take it too seriously, folks! After all, this farce may just be right on par with a Butterfly Effect sequel! One was perfect enough, Hollywood! In the meantime, stay tuned for our next dream cast installment...

This has been P.S. Elliott (AKA: Dr. Gonzo XXVII; the Movie Guy?) reporting for the disassociated press, that is... The Gnoyze Guitar Mods & More Web Blog..

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