There is so much baggage around the live-action remake of Ghost in the Shell I have been struggling with where to start. I do not want to seem calloused by ignoring the issues, but at the same time I just want to talk about the movie. Yes, director Rupert Sanders (or whomever was ultimately responsible for casting) whitewashed the Major by using Scarlet Johansson. In the current climate that seems incredibly foolish, and while there are probably good enough reasons why (or even if there are not), I am not interested in pursuing them here.
So…. Iron Fist…
It was not terrible, but at the same time it was not nearly as good as the other Marvel/Netflix shows. I suppose it was inevitable that one of them would be a flop, right? I mean, they all can’t be amazing, can they? While there were a slew of problems in Iron Fist, for me there were three main problems that dragged it down.
When I heard about Kong: Skull Island I thought, Warner Brothers is giving the kaiju genre a reboot. Okay, I’m in. Not that that’s a huge vote of confidence. I mean, who am I, right? Eschewing the self-deprecation, in saying I’m in I was just voicing my decision that I was willing to bet my $10 that Kong: Skull Island was worth 10 bucks. Still, my tastes favor big Hollywood blockbuster films, sometimes against my better judgement (can you say Transformers?). But… the trailer for Kong: Skull Island was intriguing: King Kong vs the US Army circa the Vietnam War. Thing is, quite often trailers are far better than the movies they are promoting.
To be honest, going into Logan I wasn’t expecting much, though I was hoping they would go out big. My dismissive attitude wasn’t fair to Hugh Jackman, who’s done a fine job playing Logan, but it was justifiable considering the franchise hasn’t always fired on all cylinders. No matter how good Jackman’s portrayal was, when everything else was mediocre, the whole thing suffered. Duh, right?
There is nothing controversial about the assertation: Star Wars is the most beloved space opera EVAR! Most beloved film ever, slightly controversial. Whatever the case, most of the world has seen it and many who have love it fanatically. As such, the franchise has made billions of dollars for its owners and has spawned other billion dollar industries. It amazes me that a work of fiction has done more economically, not to mention culturally, than some countries.
Before it became the juggernaut it is today, there was the influence it had on the film making community, an influence that spawned countless Star Warsploitation films. One such film is the subject of this month’s walk thru: The Humanoid (1979) by director George B. Lewis, who not only borrowed aspects from Star Wars but also co-oped a name very similar to George Lucas. I thought The Asylum was shameless. The director’s actual name is Aldo Lado, a name befitting an anagram master or a master “sampler” of other people’s work.
Oddly enough though, for all the appropriation in The Humanoid, the movie’s title doesn’t have the word “star” or “war” like most of the other Star Warsploitation films. I guess there was a line Lado wouldn’t cross after all, though I am scratching my head on that one.
That said, let’s see just how much Lado sampled in this walk thru of the 1979 spaghetti Star Warsploitation, The Humanoid: