Irvin Kershner, (April 29, 1923 – November 27, 2010) –
Irvin Kershner directed the greatest science fiction movie EVER. Period. The Empire Strikes Back is still the reigning champion of all the Star Wars films and was the only one directed by George Lucas’ mentor Irvin Kershner. I remember going into Lowes Astro Plaza when I was a wee lad and getting goose bumps as the intro scrolled. I remember how amazing it was when I saw Luke Skywalker take out an AT AT with his lightsabre, a bomb and some rope. I remember being excited as the teacher (Yoda/Kershner) schooled the student (Luke/Lucas). The battle between father and son will always be in my head. The fact that Kershner was able to bring immense character to Yoda, C-3P0 and Darth Vader still amazes me. I also remember my dad telling me about The Return of a Man called Horse, I wasn’t interested back then, but I am now. I’ll Forgive you for Robocop 2, It’s a little hokey because of the script not translating well but I still own it. Thank you Mr. Kershner, you made my imagination and childhood so much better. R.I.P
Leslie William Nielsen, (February 11, 1926 – November 28, 2010) –
Funny, hysterical, goofy, hilarious, Leslie Nielsen was all of them. The man helped forge my sense of humor. I remember countless hours of just talking about Airplane!. I don’t think there is a 1 min span in that movie that isn’t funny. The Naked Gun movies got out of control, but then again that was part of the appeal.
Dr. Rumack (Nielsen): Can you fly this plane, and land it?
Ted Striker: Surely you can’t be serious.
Dr. Rumack: I am serious… and don’t call me Shirley.
Thanks Leslie…you almost made me piss my pants more than once. R.I.P
Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, (2005 – November 28, 2010) –
I’ll admit, I’m not a fan of Broadway or musicals. Back when I was part of MOTU’s Badboy studio he would break into song with “I want to live in America” when he was pissed and trying to get his point across to me and Chris Sotomayor… but I forgive MOTU, he understands comedy and it was his way of talking “Puerto Rican”. When I was in the 4th grade, my class put on a production of Annie for the school. We prepped for it all year and it was a huge success! I played Daddy Warbucks and felt really weird about it. The same kind of weird I feel when I see Spiderman dancing and prancing around on stage while singing semi rock/pop songs.
Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark was doomed from the beginning. I know this is a little preemptive on my part, the show hasn’t technically opened yet, but CMON!
Sign #1 – The Original producer literally drops dead right before he is about to finalize the deal. Sign #2 – Superheroes don’t translate well when singing, it takes part of their character away. I guess it could work if it were like, I dunno, a Dazzler musical where the sound and lights were part of the story telling, but these kind of show’s just don’t do well and there is a reason for it. Sign #3 – 60 Million dollars. It’s the most expensive Broadway show ever produced. It costs 1 million a week to maintain. Doing simple math and being generous with numbers, the show would have to sell out every night for roughly 15 months to generate a profit.
So this past Sunday premiere was just the nail in the coffin. The show was riddled with technical problems and the costume designs are just plain hokey (there’s that word again). The spot on 60 minutes featuring Bono, The Edge and Julie Taymor felt more like a desperate attempt at damage control than a feature spotlighting the technical hurdles and process that went into creating this redheaded step child of Broadway. This one will go in a tomb rather than a grave, next to The Captain America musical, Batman the Musical and the Superman musical. Maybe one day they’ll move Cop Rock. R.I.P