Snapshots 94

Here are 6 developments of interest to fans:

(1) Expect your friends to sell their cars so they can afford the new Steampunk watch:

Steampunk fans rejoice! Devon has unveiled a limited edition Steampunk watch, called the Tread 1. Unfortunately, it will set you back a cool $25,000USD. It’s not just for looks, as this timepiece “features four internal 2-micron thin belts that spin within the case to display the time.” That’s not all, it’s “powered by a lithium polymer rechargeable cell that is charged by wireless induction.”

It may be steampunk, but doesn’t that product description sound more like Larry Niven writing about the Ringworld or something?

(2) To understand why Brian Phillips is worried about Disney’s Star Wars reboot he says we need to understand the similarities between original Star Wars and Casablanca:

In both stories, a colorful bar in an exotic desert location serves as the backdrop for a dramatic escape. Both stories involve an untrustworthy gambler (Lando, Signor Ugarte). Both stories involve an obese crime lord, though in fairness Sydney Greenstreet is a cooler special effect than Jabba the Hutt. Neither main protagonist ends up with the girl. (OK, in Return of the Jedi, the main protagonist winds up being twins with the girl, but whatever.)

Play it again, R2!

(3) A player on his favorite team is driving Grantland writer Chris Ryan crazy.

That’s when it hit me: This is happening. Nick Young isn’t on Twitter or in photos or video lowlights. He’s on the Sixers. He’s a Sixer. He is part of my life now, and like a ghost that haunts your apartment, you need to make peace with these things. So, I decided to live-blog the Sixers game against New Orleanslast night. I fully anticipate this to read like a Sullivan Ballou letter from Ken Burns’s The Civil War. Spoiler: That guy dies. Cue up “Ashokan Farewell.” Let’s go.

Please, somebody bring this kind of humor back to fanwriting!

(4) “George Lucas’ filmmaking rooted in rebellion,” says the Yahoo! headline.

“What I was trying to do was stay independent so that I could make the movies I wanted to make,” Lucas says in the 2004 documentary “Empire of Dreams.” ”But now I’ve found myself being the head of a corporation … I have become the very thing that I was trying to avoid.”

America’s history is full of rich rebels. (Think of 1776.) The two concepts aren’t always antithetical.

(5) Don’t be deceived. The marketing strategy behind Age of the Hobbits is a common Hollywood ploy:

The Asylum, known for its low-budget “mockbusters” that often trade on the hoopla surrounding major Hollywood releases, has set a Dec. 11 release date for its Hobbits movie, three days before the big-budget WB/New Line/MGM Hobbit opens in the U.S. The company has informed WB/New Line lawyers that it believes its movie is legal kosher because the “Hobbits” in the film aren’t based on the Tolkien creations.

Age of the Hobbits is about the real-life human subspecies, Homo Floresiensis, discovered in 2003 in Indonesia, which have been uniformly referred to as ‘Hobbits’ in the scientific community,” a rep for The Asylum told THR in a statement when the legal dispute first erupted. “As such, the use of the term ‘Hobbits’ is protected under the legal doctrines of nominal and traditional fair use. Indeed, a simple Google search of Hobbits and archaeology reveals dozens of articles containing the term “Hobbit(s)” in the title.”

I don’t think Ed Green is in it so there’s no reason to go…

(6) If you’ve been in downtown Las Vegas you’ve probably seen The Fremont Experience rooftop video screen. That was the second-place finisher in the competition to design an attraction that would draw tourists away from the Strip. The actual winner was a full-size recreation of the Starship Enterprise. Paramount CEO Stanley Jaffe had the final call:

The Mayor flew in on a private jet along with the representatives from the downtown redevelopment committee.   Sherry Lansing was there, the Paramount Studios licensing group executives were there, several key executives atParamountwere there, and of course, Stanley Jaffe, the decision maker. To be clear, EVERYONE loved the project up to this point — the entire Vegas downtown redevelopment committee loved the concept, the Mayor loved it, the Paramount Studios Vice President of Licensing and the entire licensing department loved it, as did Sherry Lansing.  Everyone loved it – but now it was up to one man. Stanley Jaffe.

And Stanley Jaffe said no. Apparently he was afraid of creating a white elephant that would stand forever as a embarrassment to Paramount.

[Thanks for these links goes out to David Klaus, Michael J. Walsh and John King Tarpinian.]

5 thoughts on “Snapshots 94

  1. A Steampunk watch you power with an induction battery isn’t the real thing. When someone introduces one you power by opening a hatch and inserting a tiny grain of coal, *then* I’ll be impressed!

  2. Coal is de rigeur, I’m sure you’re right. If steam alone made steampunk, nuclear submarines would qualify.

  3. I had this same idea when I first saw the Franz Joseph Schnaubelt STAR TREK Blueprints of the original Starship Enterprise in 1973. I felt that, given all the staterooms included in the plans, and the variety of interior attractions and special rooms which were already there or which could be added, that a full-sized Enterprise would make a wonderful and utterly unique hotel. I jokingly referred to it as “Trekkieland” to my friends, complete with hats with ears, but Vulcan ears instead of cartoon mouse ears.

    That everything was in place to make it happen, but one single person who couldn’t raise his eyes above the ground to the skies killed it is unsurprising. Throwbacks to our pre-ancient ancestors who kept to the trees, never coming down to walk in a larger world, still exist.

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