#90 – A Multitude of Good Movies on TV at Once

I’ll be honest, I’m not the busiest guy in the whole wide world. I’m sure you could’ve guessed that, what with this whole ‘250 things’ endeavor seeming like a colossal waste of time for anyone else. Either way, with all that said I’m pretty sure the most frequent occurrence of this feeling is on Saturday nights. I’d prefer to have plans for a Saturday night, but when I don’t, I can almost consistently take comfort in the fact that I’m only a few remote control clicks away from at least three movies I’d enjoy watching.

My strategy when it comes to TV watching is a simple one… Find what you want, and then have just one backup for the commercials. There needs to be something you can rely on with your “last” button (that’s the “Previous Channel” button for the uninitiated) and if you’re really lucky, the commercials are out of sync so one is never on break while the other is*. When this feeling occurs, it’s the only time you wish there was a “next to last” button.

And the reason this feeling is so great is because, beyond the obvious, so often you have nothing to watch. There’s 10,000 channels, you only flick through about 27 of them and on any given night, 26 of them are useless.

Not tonight though. We’re talking Back to the Future II (the best one), Old School and Horrible Bosses. All on TV, all at once, all for you. Go, enjoy.

Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Experiencing this feeling on one Saturday night, loving it, then not having plans for the following Saturday, experiencing it again—but to the same movies. Not quite as fun.

*Of course, that’s just a fantasy. Like sane 10’s, we all know that doesn’t exist.

We’re Getting Closer…

Since I was a kid, I’ve dreamed about the future. Not in a what-job-will-I-have, I-hope-my-wife-is-hot-type way. No, in a when-will-I-get-to-drive-flying-cars type way. Ask any man in his mid to late 20s what thing he’d want most in this world and he’ll say (if he’s not a loser or a liar) “a hoverboard”.

That, my friends, is the future I’ve been looking forward to.

Just last week, I received some great news: that future is here.

Acting on a tip (read: I clicked on a link in a friend’s Gmail status), I stumbled upon the portal to the future. It’s called Glass and it’s fucking crazy. For a sampling of the sort of things you can do, check out this brief video provided by Google.

You see? That’s what I’m talking about. I want to be able to congratulate my mom on how well she hydrates a pizza. I want to be able to shout at morons who have no idea that hoverboards don’t work on water and to not use my hands to lace up my sneakers. I want a closet filled with self-drying vests and for this guy’s fashion to come into style.

Apparently, the folks at Google are of similar mind.

From what I’ve gathered, it appears as if there’s going to be a contest to beta-test these glasses and then some form of the product will be available to normal humanoids in 2014. A word, before we go on, about that “contest”. In quite possibly the most arrogant “contest” ever, you have to be chosen (after submitting what needs to be deemed as a worthwhile, clever usage for Glass) by Google and then you’re given the right to spend $1500 and pick them up in one of only three places country-wide. Seems ridiculous, but I suppose if it’s the key to moving us more towards Back to the Future, I can deal.

Full disclosure time: I don’t even have a smartphone. So, as you could rightly imagine, seeing a pair of futuristic glasses where you can do basically everything other than dry clean your clothes blew my mind.

I don’t want one (at all, really), but I now know how it feels to be a parent. I want to call up Google and simply say, “Congratulations, you’ve done it. I don’t know what it is, exactly, but this is it.”

When they ask me, of course, why I don’t want to purchase one, I’ll simply respond, “I have no need for a device that syncs everything I own and makes everything easier and hands-free. No, I’m holding out for a truly useful device. The hoverboard. Glass me when you’ve got that finished.”

For years people mocked movies like Back to the Future and Minority Report and their false replications of futuristic life. Well, haters, I’m here to say that it looks we’re not that far off. First the Google Glass, then the hoverboard, maybe a box that keeps all your food cold, or another one that heats them all up.

I can’t wait to see what’s next.

We Don’t Need Roads: Back to the Future, the Remake

It seems like nowadays, when it comes to movies, all we see are remakes. Updated (and some cases, not even) versions of movies from years past that lack any real originality. Whether it’s a black version of The Hooneymooners or a Will Smith-ed version of Karate Kid or even the same movie that we just finished watching a few years before… Hollywood seems to think we love seeing these retread movies.

And in some cases, I guess we do. Not every one of them decides Jack Black is somehow a good idea to star in a King Kong movie. Not everyone of them is Arthur or Godzilla.  Some of them are worth while, like Manchurian Candidate or Ocean’s Eleven (In doing some research on these types of movies, I think Nutty Professor is my favorite. Probably one of Eddie Murphy’s last great films, too.)*

What cracks me up though is when people complain about these movies incessantly and yet still go to see them. The best complaint I heard recently came from a friend who was annoyed that there are plans to make another Scarface. “How can they remake Scarface? There are some movies you just don’t touch, you know?” I responded, politely, saying, “You are aware that the Scarface you love is actually a remake of an older movie itself, right? You do know that?” This person said he was aware, but it still didn’t change his mind. I had nothing else to say.

And so, in response to all of this, I’ve done some thinking about what film I’d like to see remade if it was up to me. If you have higher than a 4th grade education, it’s not a shock that I’m talking about Back to the Future. Before you get your panties in a bunch, let me say this: remaking a movie doesn’t always mean doing it over again. No, in this case, I’d hope that a remake simply takes the framework of a story we all know and love, updates and modernizes it, and makes it better.

If done properly, that ain’t disrespect, it’s tribute.

Continue reading We Don’t Need Roads: Back to the Future, the Remake