The BurnettWork Genre entertainment has never been this fun! Sun, 17 Nov 2019 22:29:43 -0600 en-US hourly 1 The BurnettWork 32 32 114431728 THE CROWN has returned … but who ARE these people? Sun, 17 Nov 2019 17:13:00 +0000

Imagination Connoisseur and loyal subject, Ian Samuels, hails the debut of season 3 of THE CROWN.


For Brits and Royalists it is an exciting time. After many delays the 3rd Season of the Crown finally dropped onto Netflix.

After 2 seasons of excellent performances from Claire Foy and Matt Smith as Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth and His Royal Highness Prince Phillip and supporting cast including Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret and as her husband Anthony Armstrong-Jones played by Mathew Goode, it is all change for seasons 3 & 4.

Olivia Coleman is an excellent actress replaces Foy as the Queen and in place of Smith we have Tobias Menzies. Coleman does her best but still fails to give the presence of Foy and you find it difficult to believe they are playing the same character. As for Menzies, well he sounds like he is giving a poor impersonation of Prince Charles, which if he was actually playing Charles may just be about forgivable, but unfortunately he is playing Phillip.

Helen Bonham Carter is a national treasure and does well, but again does not feel like the same character as played by Vanessa Kirby.

Also even though tear-jerking all too real events such as the disaster at Abervan in south Wales where after heavy rains a coal avalanche buried a school full of young children. There are also important events during the period over-looked including the World Cup held in England in 1966.

I don’t know who had the idea that a full cast change was to happen every two seasons but it was not a good one. Verisimilitude built into the series over two seasons is thrown out.

Difficult to get over these issues but the stories that are told are told well. Many series have suffered cast changes, nut only one or two at a time, nothing like these. If you can get over these issues stick with it.


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Three Word Review: STAR WARS: EPISODE SEVEN – THE FORCE AWAKENS Sun, 17 Nov 2019 14:06:21 +0000

Fellow Imagination Connoisseurs share their 3-word reviews of STAR WARS: EPISODE SEVEN – THE FORCE AWAKENS.

Saved By Daisy
– John Marchand

Original story, remixed
– Joe Sordi

A Newer Hope
– Steve C.


Share your review …

Have a three-word review you’d like to share with the rest of the Post-Geek Singularity? Let us know by filling out the form below:

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Not all streaming services are created equal … Sun, 17 Nov 2019 03:41:00 +0000

Imagination Connoisseur, Darren Seeley, shares some of his frustrations with Disney+ and other streaming services.

Well, hello there, Rob.

My reputation, if have one, does not proceed me 🙂

I don’t have every movie I have seen on physical media. If it’s a film I didn’t like or love for whatever reason, it probably won’t be in my media library. Of DVDS and Blu Rays I have around 400 titles, some of them double dipped due to director’s cuts (such as 1986’s “Manhunter” or 2003’s “Daredevil”) and some I have used the VUDU app to convert to digital. Those conversions cross over to other services like Movies Anywhere, Itunes and Google Play.
I also don’t mind “buying” films on Google Play, Vudu or Movies Anywhere. Of the content I have bought online, not including the converted, is around 100. Not every film bought digitally on these platforms carries over to others. For example, one of my favorite films of 2013, the vampire movie Byzantium starring Gemma Atherton and Saoirse Ronan, I can get on Google Play, but it doesn’t cross over with Vudu or Movie Anywhere. But I use all services, and do not have any specific preference. (okay, I use iTunes less and less.)

The Vudu conversions are great, as they serve as backup copies of some of my collection on physical media. I won’t watch them much online, since I have the media in a cabinet a stone’s throw away. But I know they are there. One such “conversion” was The Dark Knight Rises. As it turns out, my physical media copy of that film was misplaced and lost to the void. I thought about buying it again, but by this time, stores had started to carry three packs of trilogies – and since I already ”had” Batman Begins Deluxe Edition and the Dark Knight on physical media, I felt no need to spend money on what I already have. That also applies to The Dark Knight Rises, which still remained on the various movie streaming platforms.

So there are some advantages to online media, so I’m not opposed to it. And it does save some space, as that cabinet, my rack and shelves are full to capacity. I’ll probably still get some discs to other films in the future, depending on the film, the extra content and presentation (like a steelbook or something like The “Lawrence Of Arabia” DVD “storybook” cover, or the “Total Recall” Mars case). As to some disadvantages, not all of my physical media titles can be converted, and some such as the Stephen King Miniseries “Salem’s Lot” and “The Shining’ (which is superior to Kubrick’s overrated take in my opinion.) or the 1989 thriller “True Believer” (staring James Woods and Robert Downey Jr) is available anywhere on streaming services to date, as far as I know.

Anyway, much is made over the Disney+ extra content for Avengers Endgame. And I am …disappointed. See, I bought by Avengers Endgame through Google Play, which crosses over to Vudu and Movies Anywhere. Movies Anywhere is run by DISNEY. On Movies Anywhere, the bonus features For Avengers Endgame are pretty much the same on the Blu Ray (I checked) but with the news that Disney+ had more bonus content regarding different (yet unfinished) takes, on the descriptions I heard, It seemed I wasn’t missing much of anything, and the final result worked just fine. Still…I have Endgame on Movies Anywhere, not physical media.

Why would I sign up for Disney + other than the new series content such as Star Wars or Marvel? I can get Disney related titles off Google Play and Movies Anywhere. And as The MCU goes, sure, I’m a fan…but I’ve NEVER been a fan of cross pollinating media. I don’t think I needed to play a video game to explain a plot hole or missing character in a film. Remember Alien Covenant, where the crew’s backstory was all viral short films? And what was a big criticism of that film again? (which I didn’t think was as bad as folks made it out to be) I want movies to stand by themselves on their own two feet. Every story should be contained. Maybe the die-hard under geeks might absorb all possible media and go over every nook to see what’s what. There’s so much content, but I just want to see a movie.

I find myself in recent times collecting not physical media, but rather, production art books. Got any of these? The Watchmen(2009) production art book is outstanding. Maybe this is the true special features section.

Best regards,
– Darren S.

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How do we measure Star Wars’ influence on science fiction? Sat, 16 Nov 2019 22:31:00 +0000

Imagination Connoisseur, Phil Anastacio, asks what the science fiction genre would be like if Star Wars had never existed.


I hope that all is well and hello to my brother and sister imagination connoisseurs!

Earlier today I watched Star Crash, it’s on “Tubi” a streaming service that is provided through my cable company. I found Star Crash enjoyable, and so long as the viewer doesn’t compare it to Star Wars, which came out a year earlier, it has decent special effects and costumes, especially Stella Star’s…ten hut!!!

You can certainly tell that Star Crash was influenced by Star Wars.

Star Crash tried real hard, but it just didn’t have the budget and definitely didn’t have the special effect artistry and craftsmanship. Star Wars was a trailblazer. Star Wars not only revolutionized how scifi films were made, but also revolutionized the scifi fans’ expectations from the films.

Now we want realism in our visual and sound effects. We want “spot on” fight choreography and stunt work. We want verisimilitude in our stories, and the very spoiled among us want moving theme music and score.

I have a difficult scenario for you to imagine; what if Star Wars and George Lucas never existed, how do you think scifi would have evolved? Which filmmakers and film studios would have taken the risks? 

Looking forward to your thoughts!

As always, keep on living the Lucky Tiger Lifestyle and Yub Nub!!!
– Phil A. aka Marso

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What’s “valuable” in a world where money doesn’t matter? Sat, 16 Nov 2019 10:56:00 +0000

Imagination Connoisseur, Craig Stratton, wants to know more about the economy that drives the United Federation of Planets (from the Star Trek universe).

(edited for clarity)

Greetings Rob and the PGS,

Today I wanted to ask you what your thoughts are on the economy of Star Trek.

You have said that you regulary watch videos from the Dave Cullen Show and I was wondering if you saw hs video. “Is Star Trek a Communist Utopia?”

I ask this because the idea intrigues me; especially in the TGN, DS9 and voyager era of Trek. We are often reminded that there is no wealth or money of any sort. People work for the betterment of humanity.

You then also have the invention of the matter replicator. It’s a technology that essentially makes resources like food, water and other materials (once thought of as finite) now infinite, taking away any value they may have.

– Craig S.

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Are these films on your “must see”, sci-fi movie list? Sat, 16 Nov 2019 04:11:00 +0000

Imagination Connoisseur, Jason Webster, shares his favorite sci-fi films.
Check out his list and then give us your TOP 5 in the comments section below …

Hi Robert,
I hope you and members of the Post-Geek Singularity are happy and well. Kudos to you Robert for all that you do within the film industry and popular culture. Especially with your great YouTube channel where you invite us into your life and home to engage with pop culture fans and inform and entertain over the latest issues in popular culture. Where would we be without The Burnettwork, Nerdrotic, Overlord DVD, Collative Learning and Midnight’s Edge to discuss popular culture, especially regarding film?

We all have a list of favourite films from the science fiction genre.

My love of science fiction genre began with films such a s Logan’s Run (1976), Star Wars (1977) and watching television series such as Space 1999. My favourite science fiction films of all-time are Blade Runner (1982) and Star Wars (1977). Star Wars got me from the moment John Williams’ symphonic opening credits theme blasted out of the speakers and almost sent me deaf as it coincided with the awesome yellow title flashing across and virtually filling the screen.

Blade Runner because of its awesome production design and jaw-dropping visual effects and its central theme of the question of what does it mean to be human? Then, there are the great performances by Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer. Hauer’s monologue towards the end of the film is beautifully eloquent and profound as it is heartbreaking. I agree with you the film only has impact if Deckard is human. The job and society robbed Deckard of his humanity and it is ironic that Batty a Replicant, an android, restores humanity within the jaded Deckard.

Like yourself, Robert, I do love Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) it is my favourite of the Star Trek franchise as I feel it is the closest to the original television series in terms of a philosophical approach to timeless subjects such as companionship, identity, self-realisation and destiny. Through VGer the crew of the USS Enterprise and the audience explore such hefty subjects. The types of subjects Gene Roddenberry loved tackling. My second favourite Star Trek film is Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan for many of the same reasons yourself and other fans have expressed in the past.

I love Flash Gordon (1980) as it is a fitting tribute to the original Alex Raymond comic strip. It looks, feels and plays out like a living comic with its gorgeous production design and sumptuous colour palette and great cinematography by the legendary Gilbert Taylor. Many believe Taylor’s work on Flash Gordon is better than on Star Wars. The quirkiness of the use models and effects that look like those that appeared in the serials of the 1930s and 1940s in some sequences while other sequences feature contemporary effects, sets and costumes. It was a moderate success worldwide, due to doing really well in Europe and Australia but floundering in the US. Many point to the way the film was poorly marketed in US as being one of major reasons for its underperformance. However, I am glad it has become well-loved as a cult classic. To some it is a guilty pleasure, but it is really fun to watch.

Some people are surprised when I don’t mention Alien (1979) or its sequel Aliens (1986). I do love those films…however, I view Alien as a horror film and Aliens as a war film. I love Predator (1987), but I categorise it as an action/horror film. I have all three films in movie collection and watch them often.

I am fan of the millennium series of Godzilla films, which is why l loved and enjoyed this year’s release by Legendary/Warner Bros Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Whereas Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla (2014) introduced the legendary monster to new fans, Godzilla: King of the Monsters was a love letter to the films of the Toho franchise of the last three decades, warts and all, just on a larger scale in terms of production design and better visual effects. So, there are my favourite science fiction films.

All of this leads to asking you which science fiction films do you believe haven’t received the critical and commercial recognition they deserve that people should check out that may come to be add to their list of favourites?

I look forward to watching great content on future Robservations episodes on The Burnettwork YouTube channel.

– Jason W.

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Is CGI ruining storytelling? Fri, 15 Nov 2019 19:26:00 +0000

Imagination Connoisseur, Jeffrey Mao, wonders aloud if too much CGI is actually hurting the storytelling power of movies – especially monster movies.

Greetings, Rob:

A recent letter from (I believe) Amir B. talked about how today’s CGI-laden blockbusters may end up being less well remembered than films from the pre-CGI era such as Apocalypse Now. As usual, it got me thinking about the use of visual effects in films (not just CGI, but all manner of visual effects techniques and methods), its appropriateness and when and when not to use it. This subject could literally span multiple letters covering all the different aspects of VFX. I fondly remember reading Cinefex magazine back in the day and before the Internet that was about the only way to get the details of how ‘they did that.”

For this letter, I thought I would focus on miniatures and models, something I know that is near and dear to just about every Imagination Connoisseur’s heart. Who hasn’t thought about making a movie with their toy soldiers and tanks and planes? I’m sure some of us have, and there a lucky few who got to do it for a living. I’ve been thinking about this while watching the Criterion Collection’s Godzilla Showa era set.

Now, sure, obviously, some of the model and miniature work is incredibly dated and goofy looking nowadays. But there are some isolated shots and scenes that are quite amazing. Like, for example, in one of the Mecha-Godzilla films where Godzilla is walking through a plant and it’s on fire, and I’ll be damned if that fire wasn’t basically right on top of him. The work with the Mothra larva crawling around was always pretty amazing given the time period. I felt that the scenes in the air involving flying kaiju like Ghidorah, Rodan, and Mothra were always their weakest spots. Given the technical limitations, they pretty much could only have Rodan and Mothra flapping their wings at Godzilla and trying to knock him over with the generated wind. Also, the cuts to closeups on Godzilla and Rodan’s heads during their fight in “Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster” made it pretty obvious those were some kind of puppets.

Sadly, model and miniature use is disappearing from the VFX toolbox in lieu of computer-generated imaging. Part of the reason why is clearly cost. While physical models are still made, they are mostly just scanned into the computer and then used virtually. Model work also has many limitations in the sense that while you can miniaturize objects you can’t do the same for physics, or air, or water or fire. Now this is where you can combine CGI and model/miniature work quite cleverly. Our goal is that, regardless of how much CGI we use, we still have to have a photographed element, a “plate” as you call it, somewhere in the final frame.

Take the model ships in a Godzilla movie. The problem is that the waves on the water are full size and therefore you have no verisimilitude because the waves are too big and the ship is moving through the water too easily. You could shoot the model ship practically and CGI in the water, because your computers are powerful enough now to accurately model water. If the ship catches on fire from, say, Godzilla’s atomic breath, you can size the flames properly, and better yet, not burn up your model. In the scenes where tanks shoot at Godzilla, it’s clear they are radio-controlled toys, as they bounce and move around too lightly. I can use CGI to add mass to the tanks, and also to miniaturize the effects of the dirt that it kicks up as it moves.

I know that they used to film some scenes at a higher frame rate and then slow it down on projection to give the effect of increased mass, but that doesn’t completely solve the physics problem. With planes, I can use CGI to add in the exhaust from the engines, the heat distortion, battle damage, etc. If I have X number of planes or tanks in a scene, I shoot my one model for each, then composite them all in.

With regard to air, interestingly enough, I feel that it has a big effect on why oftentimes models and miniatures don’t look “right”. We all know how something looks to our eye over a distance and, by extension, through a camera lens. The further away something is, the more it is distorted by the air in between, any kind of matter in the air, like dust, or pollen, different light effect, heat, you name it.

When you shoot a model or miniature and attempt to pass it off as real, you will shoot it from a much closer distance than reality. There’s much less air in between your lens and the subject and therefore that much less distortion and improved clarity, plus you’re usually in a studio that is climate controlled and has cleaner air.

The subject looks too crisp and clear and you get that “model” look hence. With computers, you can model the effect and apply that to your finished image, whereas in the past maybe they used a filter or dropped a cheesecloth over the lens, if they even cared at all. I think this is why models have always been well-suited for space scenes, because with no atmosphere, everything photographs hyper clear.

In the end, I feel that we can use CGI and computerization to help make films have even more verisimilitude and be even more realistic instead of quite the opposite of what we have seen recently, with bombs straight downwards onto a battleship, or making a car leap in between skyscrapers. Instead of using computers to help films break the law of physics, we can use computers to help films not break the laws of physics.

Well, Rob, I could go on and on about VFX, CGI, and models, but we’ll leave it at this for now and look forward to hearing your thoughts.

– Jeff

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A conversation about THE GODFATHER we just couldn’t refuse … Fri, 15 Nov 2019 18:40:00 +0000

Imagination Connoisseur, Roberto Suarez, recalls the early, VHS editions of GODFATHER and GODFATHER II and has some questions about both films.

Dear Rob:

Your recent discussion on The Godfather movies triggered an old memory of my own Godfather. Like you he is a collector at heart and a lover of music and movies. I remember visiting him at his home in the early 1980’s and marvelling at all his Hi-Fi media equipment and his record and movie collection.

Among those movies he had a three-volume VHS version of The Godfather Parts I and II. I vividly remember it coming packaged in an oversized faux leather slipcase with The Godfather title and logo embossed in golden ink. If I remember correctly, this was a special edition of the films, with additional footage not released theatrically and re-edited in chronological order. It began with Vito’s life in Italy and then transitioned through the films’ events in order through Michael’s rise to power in The Godfather Part II.

Are you aware of such a version of The Godfather existing in the past, or am I just crazy-thinking? A part of me can’t imagine why Coppola would re-edit his masterpiece in such a way, since part of what makes The Godfather Part II so compelling is watching the parallels in Vito and Michael’s stories developing across different time periods. If you have any insights as to this version of the movies I’d love to hear your thoughts, since I know they are among your personal favorites.

In closing I wanted to thank you for taking the time to read my letters and sharing my musings in your recent episodes. It means a lot; you should feel very proud of the community you’ve created here. I’m proud to say I’m a card-carrying monthly supporter of the post-geek singularity.

Have a great weekend,
– Roberto

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“MacLunkey”? Them’s fightin’ words … apparently. Fri, 15 Nov 2019 12:10:00 +0000

Imagination Connoisseur, Ian Samuels, provides a little insight into the latest development of the “Han Shot First” controversy.

All we can say is #JusticeForGreedo … LOL!


George has been at it again!

Yes its true despite selling Star Wars and Lucasfilm, George Lucas has still managed to get his grubby mits on Star Wars.

It is well known that Lucas has messed around with the now famous ‘Han shot first’ scene from A New Hope. He decided in his infinite wisdom that Han shooting Greedo in the way he did was to ‘Dark Side’.

No George… Do you not even understand your own characters? Han is a hard-ass and is not going to take crap from anyone. But no, in George’s version, Han is a soft-ass.

So he had Greedo shooting first. Then, he had a very odd CGI movement of Han’s head as we are supposed to believe he has dodged Greedo’s shot.

It looks awful but now there is the version on Disney+ and George has changed it again! And he added one thing …

Just before Han and Greedo shoot at the same time and you get the weird CGI Han Head Jerk Greedo insults Han, perhaps giving Han a reason to shoot? But Greedo says ‘MacLunkey’?

What the Hell George? What the hell is ‘MacLunkey’?!

Well according to George, this is a change he made in 2010, which makes no sense because it does not appear on the 2011 Special Edition BluRay release. He also claims that it is something Sebulba says to young Anakin in Phantom Menace.

Like many things that George does it makes no sense and it makes a scene that worked in the original even worse with every change he has made to it.

– Ian

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The announced death of physical media may have been a bit premature … Fri, 15 Nov 2019 11:44:00 +0000

The Imagination Connsoisseur known as “Garth” writes in to let us know physical media is not dead. Yet.

(It’s merely pining for the fjords.) <- Apologies to Monty Python for this joke and the image used for this post. As a result, the writer of this comment and photo editor have been sacked and replaced with a mariachi band made up entirely of llamas. Olé.

And now, on to our much more serious letter …

Dear Robert,

Are you still lamenting that physical media is on the way out. Well, the next step in advancement of broadcast resolution is the upcoming of 8k oleds tv and Blu Ray media to house 300gb of data. In the filming and broadcasting sector, the consensus is to manufacture professional cameras and broadcasting equipment to telecast twice the resolution of 4k. In result, 2k tvs will be eventually phased out and your new tvs will advance to 4k and the ultra ultra blu ray media will have double its capacity to house 8k skipping 4k all together. Don’t be too quick to let go your movie library that soon.

Imagine you can view 8k resolution of your ESPN sports events in realtime. However streaming services may not be able handle the bandwidth traffic without the need to double or triple the servers to stream the 4k resolution of every of its titles to every of its customers. Even on the first day of live disney, the servers halted and some customers experience log off.

All streaming services of 2k resolution will still be the norm for quite sometime but the next hype is moving to 8k skipping 4k. Imagine your favourite PS6 plays 8k gaming and 8k versions of the spiderman movies but streaming services is not up to task to stream 8k resolution to every customer. By then, your monthly subscription may no longer be 7 bucks per month. Even Netflix charges a different rate for Ultra HD package because it has to double its bandwidth just to serve you and they have been doing it for quite sometime.

The reason is most of the mainstream customers who does not buy physical media are still viewing through their Full HD tvs 1080p at best. Once their lifespan of their tv is over, the next tv in line is 4k tv sets. Do you think 2K resolution upscale will look good on your 4k tv? By then lots of lots of money has to be pumped in to increase the servers so that 4k resolution bandwidth can be achieved and the maintenance costs of the system will increase. That is why to keep server maintenance low, library of titles on the Disney servers will be refreshed every 3 to 4 months to keep the site fresh to attract more subscribers. Only the popular titles will have their foothold in the Disney library but the lesser watch titles will be refreshed and replaced by different titles.

You may jump up and down when the title you like has been removed for newer titles. Do you as a customer have a say of what titles need to be up there in disney+? The chance is that you have no say. Next, even though Disney wants to end physical media, Star Wars and MCU movies will still be re released in 8k version on Ultra BD to be view on your 8k displays. Imagination technical connosieur such as in your forum will still grab those titles. It is a vicious cycle when it comes to keeping up with the jones. Like you say it is not show fan but show business. Money churning on their outdated library titles to keep the company afloat.

There is a high chance when the next level of 8k tvs is available at 50 to 70 inch at a mass market price. The disc player will be there to take the advantage the 8k resolutions and disc media will have its capacities of 300gb. Thus it is cheaper to store the movie on physical media even with all the additional costs involved instead of paying endless monthly rate for titles you will not view. Everyone has the same 24 hrs but not everyone watches their tv every hour of the moment.

Physical Storage media either in a disc format will still be relevant as the big studios everywhere around the world still need to do recording of visual and audio. That is a reality as long as history remembers. 4K blu ray is definitely on the way out but it will be replaced by 8k movie discs. (300gb version). Get ready to clear your shelves for the next level of high definition. Japan who is spearheading 8k resolutions broadcast for next year 2020 Olympics. Once everyone see what 8k resolution telecast is, everybody’s mind will be blown away. After that, who is remotely even interested in watching 2k streaming movies. Bring on the 4k now. Your titles in 4k will be still watchable. Furthermore, you can stop your subscription after one year. Just like John Campea who is paying Disney + on a monthly basis.

A suggestion for your bd collection is to extract all data and store onto a 100 terabytes server (depending on your number of titles) until all your collection is complete. As for new titles, you can add one by one. By then you can choose to view any titles anytime anywhere. Just like your own disney + with the exception that all titles are of your liking. The first movie title is to be your film, Tango Shalom, to commerate your launch of Robert Meyer Burnett movie jukebox. So far from it, the disc media will be reincarnated. It still have a relevance in the movie and tv industry.

– Garth

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