Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Indiana Jones and the Grail Tablet

The grail tablet was one of two markers left by three brother knights of the first crusade. The third night who was dying of extreme old age tells his story to a Franciscan friar, that he, along with his two brothers, Richard and the Grail Knight had set out to find and protect the Holy Grail of Jesus Christ.  Which they did in the temple of the sun in the canyon of the Cresent moon in Halay. 150 years after finding the grail two brothers started their journey back to France leaving the grail knight to guard the relic. The grail tablet was one of the markers left by one of the two returning brothers. The other was Sir Richards's shield buried with him in the catacombs of Venice.  Both markers were there to describe the location of the Holy Grail. The tablet was made of sandstone, made in the Middle East, and was found by Walter Donovan's people who digging out there for copper in the mountains north of Ankara, I believe.x

According to Indiana Jones, It used an early Latin text. Which was probably from the mid 12th century that was during the second major crusade during the fall of the county of Edessa. I got this piece from Propland

2000 which has a store on Etsy and they are based out of Spain. Link in the description. Ordered during the peak of the pandemic, it took about 3 weeks to arrive due to the new quarantine rules going into place. My question is how well did this item stand up to international travel and then storage until it eventually arrived. Wow, I'm impressed, there is a lot of paper and this resin cast is wrapped in some very sticky bubble wrap. This box looks a bit beaten up, however, my tablet looks like it is in good shape. Jesus over at Propland2000 kept in contact with me to let me know how my prop was progressing and then over the course of shipping the product until it finally arrived.

In the movie, the Last Crusade, without the top half, Indy still tries to translate it. As shown at the beginning of the film, Indy knows several languages by the time he was 14 such as Greek. He pours a bit of water on top of the tablet to clean it and still tries to translate it. Now it translates something like this. .whoever, or who drinks the water I shall give him, says the Lord, will have a spring inside him welling up for eternal life. Let them bring me to your holy mountain in the place where you dwell. Across the desert and through the mountains to the Canyon of the Crescent Moon, to the temple where the cup that holds the blood of Jesus Christ resides forever."―

Now, this piece is a resin and fiberglass casting. It was painted and weathered. and has a hollow back which helps with shipping costs.  This prop measures 20,07” x 18,50” x 1,18” width Centimetres 51 cms x 47 cms x 3 cms width

Okay, there is something weird wrapped up in bubble wrap and taped to the back. Okay this is a fertility idol, Thank you very much

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Dune, Arrakis, Desert Planet - Unboxing the Crysknives of the Film and Mini-series

It's 2020 and a new adaptation of Frank Herbert's classic is scheduled to come out at the end of the year.

Right now Denis Villeneuve director of "Sicario," "Arrival," and "Blade Runner 2049" takes a crack at this epic story which is expected out on December 18, 2020.

This is a great way for people who missed out so far on the Dune experience to check out the material, either on the big screen or taking a look at the older materials or even reading the books.  c

Before I get into the two previous screen adaptations I want to talk about what  Dune means to me personally.

At the time I was 15 years old, I lived on the South Coast of California.  Beautiful beaches, nice weather year-round. I had Friends, Family, a paper route, there were girls and I was getting ready for High School ---  then all of a sudden.  Well, it seems like it was all of a sudden to me...

My dad moved my family out to the California Mojave Desert.  

I was devastated.

My best friend gave me a book to help in through this terrible time.  The book was Dune.

I remember telling him that I thought it was boring and I could barely get through the first 25 pages. 

He told me to read the first 100 pages then tell him what I thought.   I did and I told him and then for the 30 years, I read that book at least once a year.  Along with that, I read Dune Messiah and Children of Dune as well.

zzOf course, I read all of Frank Herbert's books.  "God Emperor of Dune," and "Chapterhouse of Dune."  I went on to read Destination Void and that whole series. I sought out the "Encyclopedia of Dune,". "Eye," and "Heretics of Dune."

Then David Lynch directed the DeLaurentis Production of my favorite book.  While I thought that Lynch's version had some good ideas and some not very good concepts I certainly hated the pronunciations of the names in his film

I could go on

Then there was Sci-Fi's mini-series  "Frank Herbert's Dune" in 2000 and 3 years later saw "Frank Herbert's Children of Dune" with James McAvoy as Leto the second

This too had some good ideas and some not so good.  I could do a whole video on both of either of these. story renderings.
While some of the characters may change genders in the upcoming film, however, one of the "main character" and the largest is SHAI-HULUD or the great sandworms of Dune.

These leviathans of the desert had segmented rings that essentially had a life of their own,

They had rings of teeth at the eating end of their bodies

The somewhat indigenous desert people known as the Fremen.

These Fremen, akin to the bedouin of the Arabian Penninsula controlled the desert and the planet is 80 percent desert.  

Therefore they controlled the planet.  

As a Fremen, they had a consecrated knife, made from the teeth of the sandworms.

So we are going to take a look at two different knives, both made of worm teeth.

Well not really.

The funny thing about this box is that I actually bought this off of Etsy and not eBay.  The seller, James Arnold of ReelArt out of Florida does sell these on eBay as well. Each of these knives is sold separately but I figured that I would just get one from the film and one from the mini-series. Why just one of each? Why would I get two?

Etsy Reel Art 
Dune Mini-Series Crysknife: https://etsy.me/3fKv4iv
Dune 1984 Film: https://etsy.me/3eqloJN

Now, personally, I am excited that Villeneuve is directing Dune.  I was tripped out by Arrival, Sicario was all too real considering I used to live somewhat near the border. And Blade Runner 2049 pretty much was food for thought when it comes to Artificial Intelligence. You know Cylons and all.

I plan on seeing this film with an open mind.  

Now although neither of the two previous versions had everything that I was hoping for, I do understand how hard a story like Dune is to bring to the big screen.  The fact that he is planning to break the story into two films will hopefully allow him to tell a complete story, or at least he will get the chance to tell that story.

This makes me think that the studios are going to have to rethink how they track the profit of a film and how they make decisions on what films get a sequel or not.  The world is changing and HAS been changing and unfortunately, the way we used to do things may not evolve as "THEY would like

Now looking at some of the photos I can see that there are some of David Lynch's design elements peeking through in this film.  Look at the stillsuits. Very similar to the 1984 film  They just need the Jubba cloak, IMHO

I am thinking that the choice of actors is interesting. I mentioned that there is a couple of characters whose gender and ethnicity were altered.  In the case of Liet Kynes --- Sharon Duncan Brewster of Rogue 1  will be taking over for the recently passed Max Von Sydow. and Zendaya will play Chani.  

Considering how well I think that worked with Battlestar Galactica, I am hopeful.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Dark News Update

Today, I want to talk about some movie release updates and what you can watch in the meantime.

So, last week I let you know of the Summer Blockbuster Release schedule

Those who did answer did so with a resounding NO!

I think the Studios heard me because they pushed back the release dates to August.  I probably should have put up a disclaimer, and Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all dates are tenative

So what are we to do NOW!\

I tell you in a moment, but I want to address something very quickly,

People ask me, Rob, why do you claim to have a constantly racing mind?

Well, because I do, and do you wanna know why?

xxxBecause of films like "Memento," where  Leonard, a guy with short term amnesia, tries to avenge the murder of his wife. Or was he? He is helped by Cypher from the "Matrix," or is he? The movie flows backward and forwards, and while it tells a fascinating character study and of human nature, it confounds the brain, leading to many sleepless nights contemplating the film structure and humanity itself

Then there is "Donnie Darko." Jake Gyllenhaal's Donnie faces a rabbit from the future, family issues, his issues with sleepwalking, adolescence, the impending end of the world. You know, crap like that

Then there is "Inception," the dream traveling, time-bending and questionable narration by a possibly unreliable narrator who travels through people's dreams to plant an idea that the sleeping individual believes is his own. 

All of these films I watched many times just trying wrapping my head around the many currents that time may flow, does flow, and where it ends

Now, the film, "Tenet," the word itself is a palindrome, as of our last discussion was set for June 30th, that got pushed back until August 12th, and I'm guessing that will change as well

Again, all dates are tentative due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Tenet another Christopher Nolan film deals with time inversion, I'm not sure what that means, but this sci-fi film sure does look interesting

Damn you, Christopher Nolan. DAMN YOU

ARE YOU READY TO GO BACK TO THE THEATERS? If so, what precautions should they take to ensure your safety, or is that YOUR responsibility?

So what do we do NOW

Well, lucky for us, or those of us who have Netflix, "Dark:" Season 3 just dropped on Saturday, June 27th

What is "Dark," you ask?

Well, it's a German-produced web series that follow four families in the small yet fictitious town of Widin Germany. 

First, there are the Kahnwalds whom the main character is Jonas Kahnwald, an older teen still in high school whose father hangs himself at the beginning of the film, which is on June 21st, 2019 

Jonas goes away to a psychiatric institute for the summer.  In the meantime, his mother, Hanna, a woman in her 40s, starts having an affair with Ulrich Nielson, a man she's had a crush on since she was in High School

While he is gone for the summer, Jonas' girl-friend Martha Nielson takes up with Jonas's best friend Bartosz Tiedemann.

Oh, by the way, Martha's dad is Ulrich, (the one having an affair with Jonas's mom, Hanna.  Ulrich is also a police officer who is investigating the disappearance of the High School drug pusher, supplier, party favor guy Erik Obendorf

Jonas, Bartosz, Martha, her older brother Magnus, and her younger brother Mikkel along with Franziska Doppler, whose mother is the police chief and Ulrich's boss decide to go to a cave in the woods near the towns nuclear plant, where else kids go to get high to see if they can find Erik's stash.

As the kids get closer to the cave, weird sounds start emanating from the cave, and their flashlights start flickering, of course.  Chaos ensues, and they scatter,  Jonas realizes that young Mikkel was left behind, goes back calling for him but can't find him

Later, Ulrich and Katherina, his wife, the kid's mother, and the principle of the High School are devastated, and Ulrich now has two kids to find, and one is his son

Worse yet, when Ulrich was a rebellious teenager, his younger brother went missing in 1986, which is a 33-year time difference. 

Family drama ensues. Mikkel is the talk of the town, Ulrich breaks up with Hanna, oh beware of a woman scorned, and things get weirder for the town of Widin

Mikkel woke up in 1986. Not sure what to think, he ends up at the hospital where Ines Kahnwald, the attending nurse, helps the kid and eventually decides to adopt him

Oh, oh, you know means. 

Soon after that, "the Stranger" delivers a package to Jonas that contains Michael's suicide note and instructions on how to access the wormhole in the caves

There's a wormhole in the caves?

The nuclear reactor went live in 1953 oh yeah, 33 years

Jonas tries to go back to 1986 and bring Mikkel back, but the stranger tells him that he would form a paradox and erase himself

Did I forget to mention back to the future?

Turns out that the stranger is Jonas from guess when?
33 years in the future.  2052

Ulrich, while searching for his son Mikkel, find a fresh body in the woods. The boy cannot be identified, but Ulrich knows who it is? It's his brother Mads who disappeared in...   wait for it, 1986

It turns out that the is a man who dresses like a pastor, who is kidnapping the kids and is trying to do time-traveling experiments with.  Either sending kids back to from 1986 to 2019 or from 2019 to 1953.  

Confused, don't be.  That was only season 1

Season 2 is just a strange, yet still pulls you into the story and where the hell is this thing going?

All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again?

Don't worry about this film being produced in Germany with a German cast, The audio is in English dubbed very well by American actors

My intention was not to give a complete rundown of this series but to get you to at least take a look at Dark as they will do a full recap at the beginning of this new and final season