How stupid are you?

We’ve all done it. Asked that question that we were kind of unsure about. Remarked about something before actually realizing what has been said. I’ve been guilty of it several times. In fact I’d like to think of myself as that 5-minute-later-comeback guy. This is why I’m a writer, snappy comebacks aren’t my forte. (F.Y.I. I’ve edited this post 3 times already, the first draft was just a series of grunts and clicks.)

But when it comes to non social situations (dealing with work or money) I always make sure I clarify what I’m doing, just to ensure that I don’t interpret something that just shouldn’t be. It’s just common sense. Or so I thought. It appears that common sense just isn’t that common anymore and people do what they think is right and then hide behind the mask of ignorance. I mean, seriously, is it that hard to ask before you make a mistake. I completely believe that we live and learn from the mistakes we make but isn’t it better not to make any mistakes at all?

But that’s the way our society survives. Make a mistake and someone will be there to wipe your chin and pat your head, tell you it’ll be ok and fix the problem for you. It’s part how we’re raised and part what we see. If I was taught to respect other’s belongings but then see my parents do exactly the opposite, what do you think will stick? I understand what the status quo dictates, but why follow it when I know I can do what I please and have someone fix it later.

So if you happen to be reading this and you’re under 20, I want you to take something away from this post. You are the generation that is going to change our world and take us into the next century. You’re responsible for getting through school, getting a job, moving out and growing up. You, and only you, are responsible for educating yourself. Before you do ANYTHING, stop and ask yourself “Is this right, or am I assuming this is right.” That one question will save you a lot of grief and stress.

It’s like G.I. Joe taught us back in the 80’s – “Knowing is half the battle!”

The other half is evenly split between red lasers and blue lasers.

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Animation – the old school way

Original artwork by J. Scott Campbell

If you haven’t guessed, I’m suffering from a bout of insomnia.

Fortunately I have WordPress and Teletoon Retro! Currently I’m watching the origin story of the Clock King unfold in the best animated Batman cartoon. Looking back on the style of animation, it seems so crude and low-budget. But looking at all the animated shows when I was a kid, I realize that it wasn’t about how perfect the animation was or even how realistic it looked. It was all about the stories and seeing my favourite heroes in action.

I would watch the old-school Spider-Man with as much admiration as the 90’s X-Men cartoons. The originality was just awesome and Teletoon Retro has launched me back into that world all over again. No matter how old you are there is always an old show that evoke’s memories of  being excited to wake up early on the weekend.

Aside from the classics that everyone knew and loved (like Transformers, ThunderCats and He-Man to mention a few), I had a few particular gems that are still close to my heart.

1. BraveStarr

 BraveStarr was one of those heroes that I really related to. With many heroes being either white or black, I finally had a brown hero that I could emulate. Sure he was native, but at least his skin colour gave me a new choice for a Halloween costume.

He brought a great sci-fi twist to the classic western story that was able to provide odd characters, cool gadgets and a horse that was an actual bi-pedal sidekick. I love He-Man and Tiger-Cat, but if Tiger-Cat could stand up and fight beside me like Thirty-Thirty could, he would be even cooler. It was unfortunately short-lived, and shared many similarities to the ThunderCats and He-Man but it was still one show that holds a special place in my heart and made me secretly want to be a cowboy.

2. Voltron

 For those of you that watched Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, this is the solid gold anime it originated from. Voltron was the ultimate in space/robot adventure. Inspired the Japanese Anime robot saga’s, Voltron came to fruition when there was no means to translate some of the most popular Japanese shows into English. The success of these lion shaped robots made it one of the most widely syndicated shows and some of the greatest toys to play with. I also loved the fact that the original toys were made entirely of metal. This meant that no matter how much abuse you dished out, these toys could take it.

3. C.O.P.S.

 This shows was not only awesome because of the characters and stories, but the toy line was my favourite, aside from the Transformers. The high-tech gadgetry translated well into toy format and gave me hours and hours of enjoyable adventures. The more gadgets and accessories a toy had, the more creative I could be when playing. I would create storylines that included C.O.P.S. vs. Ninja Turtles, C.O.P.S. vs. Transformers and even C.O.P.S. vs. Thundercats. Yeah I crossed universes, what are you going to do about it.

Well my trip down nostalgia lane has come to an end, but if you want to relive some of your old classics, tune to Teletoon Retro. This weekend they’re having a marathon of The Real Ghostbusters, which should be fun to watch. Now let’s see if I can get some sleep. Work’s going to be a pain in the ass tomorrow but this post was worth it!

Re-hash

Thanks to a former colleague and fellow cinephile (better known by her twitter alias @tami_ava), I learned of the announcement of a remake of Point Break. Yeah, that’s the one where Keanu tries to catch the late great Swayze’s gang of bank robbing surfers. What? You never heard of it!? Come on, it was a recurring tongue-in-cheek gag in the movie Hot Fuzz.

If you’re still drawing a blank then consider yourself lucky. You’re not missing too much. The movie didn’t bring much to the table for both Keanu and Swayze and for the most part it was a mediocre release that had some fans (I’m looking at you, surfers and stoners!) So this begs the question; why does Point Break need a big screen redo? I’m noticing a common thread within Hollywood bigwigs as it seems like remake’s are all the rage.

And this is only the beginning. This seems to be just another title in the seemingly endless list of new/old movies. So far we’ve got Footloose, Dirty Dancing, Arthur, Straw Dogs, Spider-man (the original is barely a decade old), Judge Dredd, Total Recall (don’t mess with the three boobed alien), Conan, The Crow (I’m really pissed about this one), Dune, Fright Night, Heavy Metal, Clash of the Titans and Tomb Raider to name a few. Most of these movies didn’t have huge box office numbers, or lauded as masterpieces. But they all eventually found a niche crowd that gave it the popularity and success it deserved. But does that mean they really need to be re-made.

It was the simplicity of a lot of these films that gave them the eventual fan base. I remember the first time I saw The Crow,  I started wearing a trench coat and listening to NIN and Joy Division non-stop. That movie made me really explore the depths of love and loss and gave me the opportunity to be all teenage-angst in a way that was truly me. Even though I didn’t like the casting in the 2002 version of Spider-Man, it was still exciting to see one of Marvel’s giant’s on the big screen the way I imagined it. And that movie also opened the door to other great super-flicks like Iron Man and Batman Begins. Some of these classics used real make-up, effects and stunts that didn’t need computer generated highlights. It was creative in its trick cinematography and inventive special effects.

But Point Break and Footloose!? Keanu and Bacon must be rolling over in their future-graves. I’m sorry Hollywood, but you need to shape up and start telling new stories. I don’t want to be 80 and watching the 10th remake of Rocky starring the great-grandson of Sylvester Stallone as Rocky and Justin Timberlake as Paulie.

Although Timberlake would lend his vocals to a new Rocky soundtrack. I wonder what his version of Eye of the Tiger would sound like?