Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Adam's adventures at the 23rd Annual Ohio Sci-Fi Marathon!
soon to be updated with more photos and goodness
Having had some hand in organizing this year's Ohio Science Fiction Film Festival, I can't be unbiased in reporting on it.
Guess what? Fuck it. I'm gonna say what I feel all the way through. I feel it my duty to let you people in on the happenings in and around the marathon, and I won't stop until all of you (and the bunch more people) all show up here for this event every year.
The marathon is a geek's dream: 24 hours of great sci-fi. How can you NOT want to come here?
So, I've got a brand-spankin' new pair of glasses (a big shout-out to Todd for making the whole process actually enjoyable) so I can see the screen. And I've got four Red Bulls that say I'm at least going to be a wide-awake Astro-Zombie by the end of this.
Let's do this thing.

7:55 am
So, I'm waiting for the COTA bus to take me down to the theater (it's not coming for a half hour) and I'm struck by two facts.
1) This is gonna be one long fucking day
2) I have a three foot tall plastic alien with me (it's a decoration for the theater)
I'm reasonably certain the plastic alien doesn't want to anal probe me, but I'm not nodding off.
No, sir. I've got four Red Bulls with me. I'm gonna be one wide-awake fucking zombie today.
My first yawn of the day. I dunno if it's because I'm tired or because I'm just too stupid to remember to breathe. Whatever.
Did I mention that the bus won't be here for a half hour? Because I'm bound and determined to be on time for things today. Just like John, the head projectionist (who's working 29 hours in a row) will be concentrating on making this the best marathon (projection quality-wise) we've ever had.
I was at the theater last night past midnight stuffing goodie bags. Weird melange of old and new schwag. I'd be overjoyed to get a NIGHT BREED button, myself.
And now, here, waiting for the bus on this damp Columbus morning, hoping not to fall asleep with a bigass plastic alien sitting next to me (because that's the moment a photographer will miraculously drop by and put the picture on the internet.

9:06 am
I'm at the theater, set up in the area we've set aside for volunteers. Time to set up...

9:06 am


9:07 am

The concession stand, all decorated and stuff.

9:07 am

Upstairs. The Lava Lounge.

9:08 am

The registration/ticket table pre-setup and chaos.

10:51 am

The first marathoids enter!

Yes. Frankenstein's Monster was first in line.

10:51 am

Frankenstein's Monster's buddy.

10:52 am

The line.

10:52 am


10:52 am

Jeff Frank looks over the line to get in

10:53 am

Marathoids in line

11:15 am

Settling in...

11:51 am
DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL trailer. I LOVE this movie, and I saw it at a marathon 2 years ago. Or was it 3? My brain's all mushy.

11:53 am
THIS ISLAND EARTH trailer. This one elicits loads of MST3K references. Which is a bad sign. These crowds feed on chaos and shitting all over movies.
The lady next to me is quite wisely setting up shop to charge people leaving the row of seats. Good for her. She'll need pizza and beer money.
CAPTAIN VIDEO trailer. Thank the cinema gods for cheese. First off, it's low cal (at least the cinematic variety is) and it's good to remind you that there is goodness out there. CrapTACULAR.

11:57 am
BRUUUUUUUUUUUUCE Bartoo on stage. Program booklets are all fucked up. oops.

12:02 pm
Countdown to THE BATMAN...
projection problems already...whee.
Chapter 1: The Electrical Brain
Yeesh. This is cheeZEE. The Batcave is decked out with...a desk. And nothing else. And anyone who thinks that the 60s BATMAN TV series was kinda homoerotic ain't seen nothing yet. The unintentional laughs fly.

Oh, man...the Axis Agents are headquartered in a "Japanese Cave of Horrors." And it's like one of those ultra-Christian haunted house dealios...except showing off how savage the Japanese are...which is funny because the villain is supposed to be Japanese...except he doesn't even resemble an Asian. At all. If this guy is Japanese, then I'm Japanese too.

People are still filing in. They're not used to sell-outs or on-time starts, apparently. This place is PACKED.

12:31 pm
Oh my God...this print is beautiful. Yes, there are some minor projection problems, but they get them cleared up toot sweet.

Why in the world are people calling out and heckling in KING KONG??? This movie is a fucking classic, fer chrissakes!
Urge to kill...rising.
Hmmm. That's a familiar situation at one of these. At least for me.

All of the excitement earlier setting things up has me whupped. I think everyone being an ass gets a buy on their well-deserved asskicking. If I'm tired now, it's only gonna get worse.

Something I keep forgetting: Faye Wray is positively LUMINOUS in this movie. She just lights up the screen.

The original might be more lean and economical than the recent Peter Jackson remake, but I still love both Kongs dearly.

***At this point, I have mysteriously misplaced my notes (AND my computer mysteriously shut down...without saving this file...so, I'm attempting to recollect as best as my swiss cheese brain can...

Somewhere around 2:15pm-2:30pm...Until around 4:30pm
We watched an episode of TALES OF TOMORROW with Leslie Neilsen and Brian Keith in it (off of what I'm guessing was a bootleg DVD -- but there really isn't a legits version of this baby out there, and likely never will be). You can tell this was done live...there's a theatrical quality to the acting that's just not present in most television. Then, 'twas time for FORBIDDEN PLANET.
So, I'd heard that we'd tried to get the archival print of FORBIDDEN PLANET. And we couldn't. Then, we secured a print...but they shipped it by truck and the print just disappeared. Then, just as they were about to send us the archival print (which really isn't supposed to get shown), the print they'd sent miraculously reappeared. All this jerking around, and we never even got kissed.
Well, for the most part, the one we got is just fine. In fact, most of it looks GREAT. There are parts where the wear shows, though...and it shows a lot when it does. It's the audio that's probably the weakest bit on this particular print. There's some dropout and persistent static. Ah, well...

***We now resume your regularly scheduled diary...

4:34 pm
Well, somehow I managed to fuck up and lose almost all of my notes so far.
Oops. Thankfully, I have some longhand. SOME.

4:47 pm
One of our surprises for the marathoids is a special interview, taped just this week, of Anne Francis. We sent Drexel alum Mark Heuck (whom non-Cbusers might remember from Comedy Central's BEAT THE GEEKS). Fifty years after FORBIDDEN PLANET, she still looks quite good. And she's still sassy as ever.
"You can't come in," she told Mark and his cameraman. "The place is a mess."
She started off as a child model, moving quickly into the very infancy of television. She did her first show for NBC back in 1939, "something about an enchanted castle". So vivid was her recollection, she actually sang the tune from memory. Then, she worked in films with such stars as Clifton Webb, James Cagney and Spencer Tracy, establishing herself as an actress.
She was interested in FORBIDDEN PLANET mainly because of a lifelong interest in metaphysics. She thought of the Krell as a paradigm for the mass unconscious, and saw many aspects of metaphysics in the screenplay. Oddly, she still doesn't see the Shakespearean aspect of FORBIDDEN PLANET, and never thought of the movie as an adaptation of THE TEMPEST.
Francis didn't know whether MGM considered FORBIDDEN PLANET an 'A' picture, but she was sure they spent enough money on it, at least on the effects. She said that Robby the Robot cost more than all of the actors combined, and that the animation effects by Disney were also expensive.
She also related a tale about being shown her costume from the movie at a convention once by a fan, only to later see it on eBay with a signed picture (with a message about the dress)...except she'd never actually signed that picture. The dress ended up selling for around $9000, autograph or no.
Francis said she was happy to see Robby was still featured occasionally on TV and in commercials (according to her, director Bill Malone [The House on Haunted Hill remake] once donned the costume).
Anne Francis was on a couple episodes of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, as well as pretty much every other anthology show on the air at the time, and she enjoyed the experience, preferring the talented writers and theatrical presentation to the bug-eating reality shows of today.
She was also one of the first, if not the first, female detectives on TV, HONEY WEST. She still sees imitators of the Honey West formula. "It was just fun," she said. "Years later, I was watching Moonlighting and I thought, 'Oh my God, it's Honey West!'"
Ms Francis was nice enough to make lunch for her interviewers, and sent along a couple signed souvenirs for prize winners at the marathon. However, she did have to pick on Mark for missing some details about her character on DALLAS. When Mark credited her with being one of JR Ewing's first extramarital paramours, she had to nip that in the bud. "You know me better than that."
She loves the fact that she's name-checked in ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, but has never seen RESERVOIR DOGS, so she's never listened to the Honey West discussion in that film.
She's accessible to her fans through www.annefrancis.net. However, she was not (despite popular opinion of the people at Rocky Horror at the NuArt in LA) the star of DEEP THROAT.

5:26 pm

Marv from SIN CITY pissing off the audience.

5:26 pm

Shaun of the Dead

5:27 pm
Costume Contest. This year, we had two really great costumes that both got beaten by a costumeless individual who had a good schtick worked out.
The guy with the damn near perfect Indiana Jones costume and the guy with the spot-on Shaun of the Dead costume lost to a guy who went up and explained that he was the token black person who always dies first in the movies. And then proceeded to die on cue.
I've yammered about people without costumes before. He officially shut me up. Attitude and creativity count for something.
Next up: Anne Francis in THE TWILIGHT ZONE

5:27 pm

The token black guy who always dies first in movies.

7:31 pm
THE INVISIBLE BOY is on. Much as I tried to not watch it...I kept finding myself drawn back. For what's ostensively a kiddie movie, there's a lot of dark and disturbing stuff in there. There's a lot of violence, particularly on the part of Robbie the Robot, who's supposed to be the kid's friend and he acts very menacingly towards the little boy on a number of occasions.
Then, there's the whole matter of the kid spying on his parents about to engage in a little bumping of the uglies...which was creepy.
Bad Invisible Boy...BAD!!!

There were other issues, but, since I lost my notes, I forgot 'em. I'll learn to live with it.
The print looks better than it deserves to, really. And the movie does have the best identification of an invisible person that I can think of. "It's him, all right. His hair's not combed."
Is it me, or is the evil supercomputer powered by Microsoft?

Oddly, people are showing THE INVISIBLE BOY a lot more respect than the previous films and the Anne Francis interview.

8:03 pm
We get a quick intro from Bruce and Jeff Frank, president of Drexel Theatres Group for FIRST ON THE MOON, a Russian faux documentary about a super-secret pre-World War II space program that may or may not have launched a man to the moon in 1938. But first...more trailers!
THE MOLE PEOPLE trailer. Two words:
JOHN AGAR!!!!!!!!!!!
Can I die in the Fire of Ishtar? Please? PLEASE???
THE FANTASTIC INVASION OF PLANET EARTH trailer (in 3-D! -- we didn't get a 3-D film this year. We'll work harder on that for next year. Might as well add eye strain to our list of crimes.). Weirdass 70s alien invasion flick (in SPACE VISION) that I've never seen and probably should. Just for...research. Yeah, that's it.
Oddball claymation commercial for some product that probably doesn't even exist anymore called YoGo. Put together a gorilla, a snake and a yogurt-thieving alien. Mix well. Serve cold. Very, very odd. Which is why I'm pretty sure this stuff doesn't exist any more.
FOR ALL MANKIND trailer. We were thinking of getting this for the marathon, even though it's science fact, not fiction. Maybe next year. It looks FANFREAKINTASTIC. But, I'd think NASA has plenty of good footage laying around.
Trailer for THE MOUSE ON THE MOON (a sequel to THE MOUSE THAT ROARED [which I adore]?!?). I've never seen this. Never even knew it existed. Is it any good?

8:12 pm
The moment that many marathoids have been waiting for.
The culmination of two years of waiting (since it wasn't shown last year).
The most anticipated short subject of this (and every) marathon.


If you haven't seen this 30 year-old short by David Wechter and Michael Nankin...if you haven't been to a marathon here in CBus...you just don't get it.
Mary HAS to know the answer to a question. What makes the sun set?
She asks pretty much everyone she knows...Dad, Mom, Big Sister,


Great Grandmother (who appears to be...well, dead), and her Teacher...before she gets the answer she's looking for.
What makes the sun set?
World famous scientist Thorton Waxman and his crack team of researchers from the Karl Fong Foundation have been researching a potentially devastating problem.
We're having a serious gravity shortage.
The earth is running out of gravity!
Thankfully, the geniuses at the Foundation have produced a short cartoon with Jiminy Gravity to tell us how we can do our part to use less gravity...and hopefully to insure that an adequate supply will be around for the next generation.
Yes, my friends...

8:21 pm
FIRST ON THE MOON finally rolls.
The film is a really ambitious idea -- basically to create a live-action ROYAL SPACE FORCE or the equivalent of Warren Ellis' MINISTRY OF SPACE for the Soviet Union.
It begins with an account of a strange object crashing into the Chilean Andes, then details some of the ancient and medieval history of rocketry. There are also newsreels that show off what the USSR was doing to insure their people would be able to survive the rigors of space travel, including replacing their entire skeleton with a metal structure.
The potential cosmonauts for this new space program include a soldier from Kazakhstan, a circus midget and human cannonball, a test pilot and a female athlete.
Oh, I'm feeling it now. I am tired tired tired. Thankfully, I have some Red Bulls secreted in the volunteer lounge.
The program does get one rocket built and launched, but something goes wrong. Failure wasn't tolerated in the old Soviet Union, and the space program is covered up and forgotten rather quickly. People disappeared all the time in Stalinist Russia...and so too do the cosmonauts still on base. But, with the crash in the Andes, there's the possibility that the first pilot survived...
The faked footage feels very close to the actual newsreel film they blend it in with, so it's difficult to tell the two apart. The people have a jerky, almost animated look to them because of adjusted framerates -- making the whole thing look almost like a Svankmeyer film.
Occasionally, they cut into more modern footage where the filmmakers are investigating the incidents depicted in the older footage. They interview some of the principals and surveillance officers involved as old men and even revisit the site of the former cosmodrome where they had been headquartered. The documentary crew also manufacture a scale rocket based on the designs they'd discovered from this program.
The problem with this movie is that, no matter how cleverly the filmmakers realize the fake newsreel footage or the vintage sci-fi movie, they turn to narrative footage to tell the story. They attempt to disguise most of this by explaining that the astronauts were under constant surveillance by intelligence operatives. But the camera they show has no microphone attached, and yet there's sound in some of the spy footage. Or they'll do a camera move, like the crane shot in the factory where they produced the rocket, that a lone man with a tiny spy camera couldn't do.
It's a very interesting attempt at doing something different and new. It just doesn't totally succeed.
Still, it won the crowd over, and the film was met with a goodly round of applause. Hell, they even managed to stay silent during the movie itself.

10:00 pm
I've got a Red Bull in me and I'm waiting on a pizza and some friends who're showing up late (my buddy Dave and his son Gio). I pop in to see TOAST, the final (?) installment in Columbus native Kevin S O'Brien's fabled BREAD QUADRILOGY (those of you with the Millenium Edition of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD have seen the first part, NIGHT OF THE LIVING BREAD). I hope Kevin's doing well in Australia. Columbus misses him. Oops. I missed chapter 7 of THE BATMAN. I suck.

10:03 pm
Oh. Fuck.
How do I describe SPACEBOY to those that have not experienced it? In simplest terms, it's a visualized tone poem with science fiction elements. It stars Florence Marly, from QUEEN OF BLOOD.
But, it's so much more. It's a brain wrenching surrealistic oddity that probably is much more fun on some hallucinogen. Or any fun at all. SPACEBOY is something we suffer through, just so that we can say we have. It's a right of passage.
A quickie commercial for McDonalds' BATMAN FOREVER promotion and then...
I fucking love this movie. It's a cracked out version of the 70s G films I grew up on. Ryuhei Kitamura truly did whup unholy ass and take names with this flick. If this truly is the end of the Godzilla series, what a glorious end it is. I love every single little thing about this movie...and to FINALLY see it on the big screen with BEASTIE FUCKING SOUND -- which marathoids actually begged to have turned down (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!)...Oh, before I forget...


Quick jaunt back into the lobby to wait for Dave. I get to talk to this cool-ass guy who works at the Angelika theater in New York City (great fuckin' guy). We discuss fake trailers and super hero films and trade email addresses. Sadly, he has to leave during the movie he came to see. Poor bastard.
Dave finally shows up and my pizza is done. Back to Man in Suit!
Sure, the monster fights in FINAL WARS are short, but there's a shit-ton of 'em. And they serve notice to aliens everywhere:
Plot? Do we need a plot? Fuck no! We need a guy with a huge chin! We've got one (Don ). We need mutants! Flying mutants! With laser guns! Check. We need just about every mother-fucking monster that's been in a Godzilla film! Check. We need that tuna-slurping iguana from that Emmerich and Devlin piece of shit! Check. Racial sterotypes! Check. Kung-fu fighting monsters! Check. Smushie faced dog! Check.
Hell, the only thing this movie doesn't have is T&A. That's what the next generation of Godzilla films needs. Tits and ass. "Honey, Godzilla's coming to destroy the city! Let's fuck like rabbits until the world ends!" Bow-wow-chickie-wow-wow...

God. Damn. This movie whups ASS!!! Even with the sound turned down a bit. Pussies.

The persistent gouts of applause every time Godzilla dispatches another monster tell me I did my job well in insisting this movie play. However, I just don't know about getting the new Gamera movie for next year. It just seems too kiddie-fied, at least from the trailers.

12:34 pm
Next up are shorts from the 1st Annual Science Fiction Short Film Festival at Seattle's Museum of Science Fiction and Hall of Fame. Now, we're showing these off of DVD, so you might think we'd be able to skip around to the ones we wanted, right?
Wrong. Sadly, the DVD isn't encoded with chapters, so we end up watching WIRELESS first. It's a detective story, and it's not really all that good, especially when taken against the competition.
David Sanders' MICROGRAVITY is next. It's a nightmare about the loneliness of space travel and the risk of running out of air. For whatever miniscule budget it was made on...it looks fucking amazing. Great production design.
Stephen O'Regan's THEY'RE MADE OUT OF MEAT (which I do believe was the big winner at the film fest) follows. It stars Tom Noonan (from MANHUNTER) and comedian Ben Bailey. And, dammit, it is fucking hilarious! They're two aliens (in human form) meeting in a diner to discuss their investigation into life on earth. The one problem...life is organic.
"Who wants to meet meat?"
Freakish and weird and slightly off-kilter. Great dialogue.
A good round of applause from the audience. I think we have a winner.
SCRIBBLE. A quickie about a typist trying to transcribe something, except her computer breaks down. When she requests another, they give her a slightly older one...which breaks. Then a typewriter. And down the line until she's only got a pen. What do you suppose happens when she asks for a new device after that?
Last one in this round is HEART BEAT, an Israeli quasi music video. An astronaut/DJ rocks out with some asteroids. Very fun visually. We could have had a dance off up front to it, had we known. Maybe next year...
The pilot episode of the fantastic ABC series MAX HEADROOM played next. I adored the show while it was on, and I wish to hell shows like this were given a chance. Amanda Pays was scrumptious, too, dammit. Damn you, Corbin Bernsen.

2:57 am
The night will never end. And, from how good I'm feeling at this point, I dunno that I want it to.
The next trailer is one of marathon regulars' favorites. When they think Troma, most people think of THE TOXIC AVENGER or SGT KABUKIMAN, NYPD. Not the Marathoid species. They only think of A NYMPHOID BARBARIAN IN DINOSAUR HELL. It's not really because A NYMPHOID BARBARIAN IN DINOSAUR HELL is one of their favorite films. A NYMPHOID BARBARIAN IN DINOSAUR HELL isn't really a good film. But, some people just like saying A NYMPHOID BARBARIAN IN DINOSAUR HELL over and over. Try it. Say A NYMPHOID BARBARIAN IN DINOSAUR HELL. You like saying A NYMPHOID BARBARIAN IN DINOSAUR HELL, don't you? You probably don't ever want to see A NYMPHOID BARBARIAN IN DINOSAUR HELL, but you'll keep saying A NYMPHOID BARBARIAN IN DINOSAUR HELL until someone puts a sock in your mouth.
I've never seen a commercial that was a take on Campbell's WHO GOES THERE? until tonight. Apparently, Coke did one, maybe as a response to Pepsi's "The Choice of a New Generation" campaign.
INVADERS FROM MARS trailer. I love this and the remake equally. Tobe Hooper just kinda extended a lot of the ideas from the original. This trailer is sadly pinkish, but it doesn't really hurt most of the very original imagery that this classic presented. I suppose you could say it's more Marsified or something. Great stuff, in any case.

3:03 am
THE BATMAN CHAPTER 8: LURED BY RADIUM. Umm...still very, very prancey and poncey. Still, it's fun to have the serial chapters broken up. It makes it actually feel like a serial. If the marathon were long enough, we could have all the chapters. And a massive bodycount of marathoids dead from exhaustion..

3:19 am
THE CRAZIES! I've never seen this Romero gem in a theater. Considering how many times I've met the man, and how good this film is, I consider it my duty. Right from the beginning, I can tell just by the houses that this is Pennsylvania. I lived in PA for three years and I'm far too familiar with the landscape and architecture.
I love that, with very few exceptions, George Romero has been able to be a regional filmmaker. He stays close to Pittsburgh for the most part, and it gives his films a realism that productions that stray too far from home just don't have.
I know New York's too expensive, but shooting exterior's for a Spider-Man movie in Chicago, LA or even my hometown of Cleveland just isn't right. He's the quintessential New York character and he deserves New York.
It would be like...oh, I don't know...Kevin Smith shooting a CLERKS sequel in LA.
Or Woody Allen moving to London.
Or Jean Claude van Damme shooting a movie in English.
Anyhoo, back to THE CRAZIES. It's remarkably fast-paced. No time at all is wasted with exposition. The government is in Evans City before the audience knows what's happening. Of course, since it's Pennsylvania, the locals aren't about to do anything the government tells them to without a fight (at least, that's what they'd do with a Democratic administration in the White House).
The truly cool thing about THE CRAZIES is that it feels so real. I'm not necessarily talking about how Romero captured the PA lifestyle. I'm thinking more in terms of the whole "It Could Happen" thing. You can believe that the army is sent in, clueless themselves as to what's really happening in today's age of government paranoia and chemical weapons. You believe that the characters would react as they do...and that the circumstances would be similar.
Small side note. Kathy=hotness. Had to say it. (Looked it up later, the actress' name is Lynn Lowry. Yum.)
Bad planning isn't the sole province of the civilian escapees. The government is just as or more guilty of it. After all, it's their fault Trixie gets out.
Another side note. HIPPIE! Had to say that, too.
These characters deteriorate mentally and physically so quickly, it's a given that everything goes all tits up. The ending is cynical as fuck. Perfect for the 1970s, and even more applicable today.

5:00 am
I love Tim Burton. I even enjoyed his version of BATMAN for what it was, even if it wasn't Batman in the slightest. But, I have shitloads of things to do, and little time to do it in, so I take a powder and miss it and chapter nine of the serial as well.
Jeff Frank and I chat for a bit before he takes a nap and I work on transcribing these notes (***Note: I'm still transcribing a day and a half later. Go fig.). I also help pass out t-shirts for SILENT HILL and MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE: III. The extra-larges are gone quickly, it takes a while for the non-plus-sized folks to show up and claim the larges and mediums. We grow our fanboys big in Ohio (it's all the fried food).
At 6:30 am, Jeff and I run down to Buckeye Donuts to get breakfast for the marathon, and what's the conversation in the donut shop about?
Science fiction. Two guys are discussing Frank Herbert's DUNE novels.
We can't escape. It is our destiny.

8:17 am
BATMAN is over. I love Danny Elfman's score to that movie. But, I've been a fan of his since the early 80s. Oingo Boingo just ruled my little world.
Now, people are hurling abuse at Halle Berry while the trailer for X-MEN: THE LAST STAND plays. I know she wasn't a very good Storm, but she's a native Ohioan, people! Show some love!

8:19 am
The teaser for SUPERMAN RETURNS. Easily the movie I'm looking forward to most this year. And considering some of the stuff coming out this year, that's saying a lot. I fucking love this trailer, I can't wait to see the full trailer in May and I can't wait to see the movie in June. In this short little glimpse, Bryan Singer absolutely NAILED how I feel about Superman.

8:20 am
A trailer for a BUCK ROGERS serial. Good stuff. But no Twikkie! (sigh)

8:22 am
SERENITY. Say what you will about Joss Whedon. Say what you will about his rabid, slavishly devoted fans. FIREFLY fucking ruled and SERENITY was amazing.
I watched BUFFY. I watched ANGEL (though I missed most of the last season). I was never a believer in Whedon until FIREFLY. It worked on levels none of the Buffyverse shows did. The show had a more logically thought-out universe for one. It was also truly an ensemble program.
And what an ensemble... I loved BARNEY MILLER, so I've always been a Ron Glass booster. Animal Mother in FULL METAL JACKET is one of the greatest screen characters ever realized. Adam Baldwin is the only motherfucker alive who could have played him, too. Dude's been in so much good shit, he could retire tomorrow and look back on an absolutely AMAZING career. Alan Tudyk truly can do anything he sets his mind to. ANYTHING. One of the most naturally funny actors alive, and also capable of great pathos. And, inexplicable as he was, Steve the Pirate ruled. Gina Torres? I've been impressed by her since she was on HERCULES and XENA. Hell, I watched CLEOPATRA 2525 just for her. If she and Lawrence Fishburne produce children...will they not be the coolest kids alive??? Nathan Fillion? Damn, man. This guy should have been a movie star ages ago. And if SERENITY and SLITHER don't do it...all the studios can kiss my behind. Speaking of people who should be movie stars...could Morena Baccarin be any hotter? My Lord, if a woman looked at me like she looks at Mal in this movie, I would surely melt into a puddle of goo. And, lovely as Jewel Staite is, she's also capable of making me into I Can't Believe It's Not Butter (Spray) with little or no effort on her part. Sean Maher? He gets better material than he ever had in the series and runs with it -- and he's got a new storyline that'll make the prospective sequels more fun (his romance with Kaylee). How could I forget Summer Glau? She has the best Wolverine moment that will never be seen in an X-Men movie. At the end, standing atop a pile or Reaver bodies, she's a tiny female version of Frazetta's Death Dealer. She gets the best hero moments in the film, and also some of the best comic material.
Such easy chemistry the cast has, Whedon was supremely lucky to have gotten each and every one of them. To the mix we already have, add the magnificent Chiwetel Ejiofor as the Operative, and the crew of the Serenity is more than just outmatched. The crew doesn't all make it out of the film -- and every death hurts. These are characters that I grew to love, and losing them was shocking.
My friend Dave had avoided this movie like the plague. He'd never watched the show, didn't bother with the DVDs, and avoided SERENITY in the theater. Afterwards, he turned to me and said. "I was wrong. I can't believe I avoided this in the theater the first time around." That right there? That was another fan being born.
The audience was pretty responsive to the wit of SERENITY...and they went FUCKING NUTS for the big conclusion to River's fight with the Reavers. As it should be. But, to highlight just how tired I am...I almost passed out in the middle of this movie that I love so much.

10:16 am
Red Bull #2. I have two left, and I'm pretty sure I'll make it now.

10:35 am
THE BATMAN CHAPTER 15: DOOM OF THE RISING SUN. Well, it was bound to happen. The audience has turned on Robin, and he's getting slandered pretty viciously. For good reason, really. First, he prances a lot. And, for some odd reason, any time Batman asks him to do something he does a little roll or flip into it. What's that for, exactly?
People have posed a couple alternatives for what the R on his costume might actually stand for instead of Robin. My two favorites? R IS FOR RETARD and R IS FOR RACIST (which this serial most definitely is). It's all so wrong.
I figure, after they take care of the Japs, Batman and Robin were gonna move to the South and keep the colored folks from voting. Geez, it pains me to see stuff like this.

10:55 am
The trailer for CYBORG 2087 with Michael Rennie (from THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL). I haven't seen it, but it doesn't look like it would hold a candle to his previous sci-fi effort.
Then, we get the trailer for FUTUREWORLD, the sequel to our final movie, and a promo for the "Roy Rogers Riders' Club" where Roy recites the Cowboy's Prayer.

11:00 am
WESTWORLD. Yeah, we're about 45 minutes behind, maybe a little more, but we're gonna make it.
I never, for some stupid reason, remember that Richard Benjamin is in this. Maybe it's because he's so great in so many comedies, that I block out his serious roles. Who knows? Maybe I'm just stupid.
Why isn't there actually a theme park like Delos?
Now, I'm not saying we need humanoid robots, or anything like that...most of what they do at the park could be accomplished with stuntmen and trickery. People would go to it! Me, personally, I'd be hangin' out in Roman World, rockin' the ancient style toga party.
Disney could build it adjacent to Epcot. Think about it. You could do a day at Disney, a day at Epcot, and then go to a medieval feast or a Roman orgy before you fly back home.
Someone get Steve Jobs on the phone. We gotta sell this idea.
We were lucky with this print. It's REALLY good.
Damn, Yul Brynner is one BAD mutha. Etcetera.

We've filed out of the theater, and people are collecting their shiny silver Certificates of Marathoid Behavior. Bruce does a kick ass job on them every year, and if I can't keep mine pristine, I cry like a little bitch.
Well, I cry like a little bitch if my Cheerios get soggy. But I'm emotional. Bite me.
Quite a few folks made it the entire run (I'm pleased to be among them -- barely), and the theater isn't nearly as trashed as it's been in other marathons. Jeff's getting pictures of people leaving with their certificates, so they're gonna be all famous on the www.drexel.net website or something thereabouts.

Me? I'm gonna help a wee bit with the cleanup, gather my shit, have some lunch and then pass out at home.
It's been real. It's been fun. Fuck it. It's been real fun. I've met tons of great people this year, had some fantastic conversations, and watched loads of great stuff. What more can you ask for in a weekend?

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