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It Came From the Nineties: Unforgotten Science Fiction from the End of the 20th Century

None of these are in this article REPOST 3/1/24. In honor of Farscape's Silver Anniversary and because my review of Helldivers 2 needs an editing pass when my brain isn't fried, I repost this Dark Herald classic. TV tends to lag behind film trends.  The 1980s is arguably the best decade ever for science fiction and fantasy movies.  In the 1990s the small screen followed suit. This is a list of 1990s sci-fi series that I decided weren’t obscure enough to qualify as forgotten.  I’ll do...

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Meet the Pretenders to Iger’s Throne

The court is assembling from all across the land for a king is dying.  Various factions are now presenting pretenders to the throne while the old king insists that he's still good for years.  But it is becoming clear that Iger has lost the support that matters. The last earnings call was a nothing but smoke and mirrors. Too much of it was obviously staged. When it was clear that no one who mattered would be allowed to ask awkward questions. Too much went wrong...

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First Impressions – FX’s Shogun

In 1942 James Clavell became a prisoner of war of the Japanese Empire.  He was eventually transferred to the infamous Changi prisoner-of-war camp where he would remain until his liberation. “Changi became my university instead of my prison. Among the inmates, there were experts in all walks of life—the high and the low roads. I studied and absorbed everything I could from physics to counterfeiting, but most of all I learned the art of surviving, the most important course of all.” -James...

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Disney Deathwatch: The Executions Are Underway

Sean Baily is out as the president of Disney Live Action. I knew someone was going to have to answer for last year's carpet bombing of the theaters.  I’m honestly surprised it was Sean Bailey.  He really wasn’t responsible for the disasters that Disney has produced.  Although, it’s true that he didn’t stop them either.    Alan Bergman bears a great deal of the blame although Dana Walden bears much more.  David Greenbaum at Fox Searchlight has been promoted to the newly created...

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The Dark Herald Does Not Recommend Netflix’s Avatar The Last Airbender

So much wrong in one poster There is a time in your life when children’s television programming reenters your life.  Or at least it did if you were Generation X.  I have no memories at all of my parents sitting down with me in front of Saturday morning TV.  When the subject comes up I’ve rarely run into someone in my age group that has. Admittedly there wasn’t too much available when I was a kid that needed monitoring. Although, there...

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Jodorowsky’s Dune

Question: What is the most influential movie you've never seen? Answer: Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune. This film's art designs have inspired just about every movie that isn't trying to imitate Star Wars or Star Trek, it clearly inspired ship, set, and costume projects as diverse as Alien, The Black Hole, Babylon 5, and Farscape. Arguably the revived version of Battlestar Galactica as well. Its influence is strongly felt in Warhammer 40K and Starcraft.  Yet, not a single person has ever seen this film. Because it...

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Trailer Drop Thursday 2/23/24

I know what you're thinking. This is super low effort, oh Herald of the Dark. And you're right it totally is. I'm glad you're paying attention. FIRST Borderlands Greasy as a vat of whale blubber Randy Pitchford has finally gotten his dream. Borderlands is now a movie and I got to say the casting is kind of weird.  Cate Blanchett as Lilith: I'm a gigantic fan of Cate the Great, that said, she's 54 and that's assuming her age isn't being shall we say suppressed. I love her...

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Atlantean Bull Dancers

I’m a long-time fan of Stephen Lawhead’s Pendragon Cycle.  It’s a retelling of the King Arthur stories but told from both a historical and Christian perspective.  It stretches from the final days of the Roman Empire in Albion to the Battle of Britain.  The very first book in the series is to my mind the strongest: Taliesin. The book is told from two perspectives. The first follows the life of Prince Taliesin, the greatest Celtic bard in the history of Britain. His father...

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Helldivers II – First Impressions

I had intended to post a full review of Helldivers II this week, but that is not going to happen. I have to say that I am somewhat disappointed. I was under the impression that Helldivers II was going to be a non-competitive, third-person co-op shooter. One that had strong overtones of Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers. Except this one was actually funny and wasn't trying to be a secretly brilliant film that you have to have an IQ that falls in a very specific...

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No Christian White Trash Allowed, Says Disney REPOST

(2/19/24) Some of my newer readers maybe wondering why I haven't posted anything on Elon Musk's Tweet. The one where he talks about ABC's "secret Inclusion standards" sheet and how horrible it is. The reason I haven't posted anything is that I already did nearly three years ago: REPOST April 15, 2021 Disney knows what it wants and what it wants isn't you. After a year of doing nothing but studying all the stuff that Twitter and Tumblr users are gaga about, Disney's ABC has boldly...

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The Iron Vault of Tax Write-Offs: Tim Burton’s Hansel and Gretel

Twitter was blowing up in Twitter rage this week because Coyote vs. Acme's temporary reprieve had run out.  Gentle reminder: This movie was about a lawsuit that Wile Coyote launches against ACME, the company whose product line has failed him at every turn. I'll be honest, it sounded to me like the premise for an ultra low budget 1980s Looney Tunes clip show. The kind where there is five minutes of cheap new material inter-spliced with clips from Termite Terrace's golden age...

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The Rabid Puppies at Ten Years

I indeed and truly thought I was never going to have anything else to say about the Hugo Awards ever again. I mean what was there to say that hasn’t been said already?   There was a time that the Hugo Awards indicated, well I’m leery about calling it excellence because there were too many genuine classics in the field that never got an award.  Classic example.  The powers that be at the Hugos had been criticized for never giving J.R.R. Tolkien a...

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The Dark Herald Does Not Recommend Madame Web

You know you are in for a special treat when everyone’s contacts at Marvel Studios are all saying, “Dude, I swear we had absolutely nothing to do with this one.”  No one wanted credit for it.  You know how a modern movie has fifteen production company plates at the start of it these days?   There were only two for Madame Web “In association with Marvel” meaning this is as far as we can distance ourselves from this thing without endangering...

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Totally 80s Comics – First Comics

It’s no real secret that the man with the golden Rolodex is going to get ahead in life.  I recently talked to one of the guys that runs a publishing house that is usually near the top of the KU store. He had started with an email newsletter.  If you wanted a boost as an author you just sent him your book’s info and he’d give you a boost, provided it was science fiction or fantasy, and not romance or...

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80s Table Top – Star Frontiers

Recently, while cleaning out the garage I ran into something I'd completely forgotten about. Finding this book touched off a wave of bittersweet nostalgia for me.  80s tabletop RPGs were unquestionably the best of all time. If you disagree I'm not going to pretend you have an opinion that can be respected. It was the Golden Age. Advanced Dungeons and Dragons was still owned by an independent TSR that was controlled by the god of gaming, Gary Gygax. Dragon Lance was taking it mainstream-ish.  FASA had a...

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Is Disney Abandoning California?

There was an all hands emergency meeting at Disney Animation Studios Burbank. They started the meeting by telling the animators that no one at Burbank was being laid off. Which probably means that everyone is being laid off. It turns out that the Moana 2 movie that Bob Iger announced last night is going to be made by a surprise studio that just sprang into existence in Vancouver British Columbia with a staff of 400. Seemingly overnight so far the as the...

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The Carano Lawsuit

The reason I haven't covered this suit is simple enough. It's never going to go to Discovery.  There is no way on Earth Disney can let it go that far. It's bad enough that the results of LucasFilm's complete dysfunction is available for all the world to see. The one thing Disney doesn't want is to reveal just how disastrous things are behind the scenes. However, part of this suit was actually jaw dropping. Under a lot of pressure to issue an apology...

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Disney’s Feb 7 Earnings Call Impressions

Fellow travelers within the cabal are circling the wagons around Bob Iger with a view to preventing Nelson Peltz and Jay Rusulo from getting on the Disney BOD.  These weren’t softball questions, these were T-ball questions.  Clearly they had been instructed about that which they could and could NOT ask questions about. The closest thing to a hard hitting question was, what are you going to do about the film business?  Iger replied with what I think is the most terrifying...

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A Less Optimistic Appraisal of the Netflix Avatar Trailer

It's been a while since I posed anything by E;R Mostly because it's been a while since he posted anything himself. Regardless he's a bigger Avatar fan than I ever was so I will respect his opinion on this matter. Dour as it is. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-8TkayFT34 Note: I might not be posting tonight, depending on how interesting the Disney earnings call is today.

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RE:Play – F.E.A.R.

I’ve made no secret of my disdain for Blockbuster Video.   When I was a young man and down on my luck, I could count on their brutal return policies to leave me surviving for a week on Cheez-its and Value Star Bean Dip. The company’s insistence on leasing rather than owning their property cut the Blockbuster’s own throat when they were down on their luck.  There was a reason Family Video survived for a decade after Blockbuster went under. Nonetheless, there were...

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Space Daddy to Aquire Disney?

No, he isn’t but I’m required to cover this. At the premiere of Lola, a film with a title so unimaginative it’s up there with For Love or Money. Elon Musk was going out of this way to ham it up on the red carpet.  He was wearing the bomber jacket he had on for the New York Times Book Thingy.  The one where he told Iger to commit self-procreation.  Yeah, that jacket. He was clowning it up on the red carpet...

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RIP Carl Weathers

Sad news this afternoon. His agent confirms that Carl Weathers has passed. From Deadline: "Carl Weathers, who turned charisma, talent, hard work and athleticism into a 50-year acting career, died today at 76. Weathers studied theater in college, where he also played football. He parlayed the latter into a brief NFL career with the (then) Oakland Raiders in 1970. He began working as an extra in blaxploitation films at the time. That led to roles on TV and eventually film, where he had his breakthrough as...

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The Dark Herald Recommends: Zom 100

It might surprise you to know I’m not much of a zombie fan. Despite the fact that my first book was technically a zombie uprising story.’ I don’t like victim horror, and zombie fiction leans heavily into that.  There also tends to be a very strong nihilistic bent to it.  I might perk up my ears if someone comes up with a new variant on this old formula.  But that just doesn’t happen much anymore. I thought I’d seen it all...

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Extra! Extra! Disney’s Lawsuit Shotdown in Federal Court

From That Park Place "United States District Judge Allen Winsor dismissed The Walt Disney Company’s lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the State of Florida... In a 17-page document granting the motion to dismiss, Judge Allen Winsor wrote, “The clerk will enter a judgment that says, ‘This case was resolved on motions to dismiss. Plaintiff’s claims against the Governor and the Department Secretary are dismissed without prejudice for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff’s claims against the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board...

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Larry Fink Comes for Geralt of Rivea

The Witcher is dead It’s all over but for the crying.   I knew it the moment that CD Projekt Red CFO, Piotr Nielubowicz used the word “stakeholder.” In the past, this term meant nothing more than another common word that described the owners or stockholders (which is another way of saying owner) of businesses and corporations.  However the unholy trinity of Blackrock, Vanguard, and State Street have given “Stakeholder” a new meaning. Stakeholders are now employees that terrorize their companies into complete...

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Universal Officially Announces They Will be Eating Disney’s Lunch

This is what Universal is buying with the billions that Bob Iger will be paying them for Hulu, (which he is incidentally shutting down and rolling into Disney+. That's some 4D chess Bob). I realize there are a few pixie dusters out there that have been trained by Mickey the Great and Terrible to snort, "they can announce what they like. It's what gets built that counts." Sorry guys you're going to have to just take a hit of that Special Magic because...

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Rangz Season 2 is Really Looking Promising

They've gone into reshoots, when it was already in the can.  Apparently, Amazon did audience testing this time. The first season showrunners have been fired without being "fired," they are now Consulting Producers. This has all the hallmarks of a Disney Marvel production. The difference being Amazon can afford to throw away hundreds of millions on a project no one will like. I understand where it's coming from. These people are simply incapable of admitting an error due to the size of the error. If they...

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Book Discussion: Monster Hunter Fever

It’s no secret I’m a long-time fan of Larry Correia, if there is anything of his I haven’t read it’s probably a short story in an obscure collection. In all honesty, I am much less familiar with Jason Cordova.  I know that he was able to get his first book published by trad-pub on the very first submission, indicating either a high amount of native literary talent or an absurd amount of luck. In either case I can’t judge what...

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The Death of Disney Animation (Part 4)

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these but I felt it was time. We have finally reached the end of the story.  Disney Animation is indeed and truly dead.  I don’t see how it can come back from the thing that killed it. In the first three parts of this series, I took a look at Disney Animations’ beginnings, its rise to lead the world of animation in the fifties, and the fundamental compromises that computer animation inflicted on...

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Trailer Drop Thursday on Wednesday

Tonight's post was supposed to be the fourth part of my three-part series on The Death of Disney Animation. But it's a little underbaked. So tonight I'm getting caught up on trailers. First up Avatar: The Last Airbender. This fantastic little faux-anime series from Nichealodean was all the rage... Oh my Glob, twenty years ago. This franchise had what would be the biggest glow down in history if wasn't for Disney Everything. The first live-action film was from god's perfect one-trick pony M. Night Shalaman. Featured...

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RE:View – Rome (part I)

Almost twenty years ago HBO swung for the fences and knocked it out of the park with not one but the two best series in the history of that network.  And surprisingly, they were both period pieces. Deadwood I’ll look at another time… Maybe.  Today, we’re talking about Rome. In his book Timeline, Michael Crichton predicted that the biggest selling point in the 21st Century would be authenticity.  Time has proven Doctor Crichton right. Rome attempted to deliver that authenticity to the extent...

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