As our favorite heroes and their stories beging to mature, Imagination Connoisseurs wonder if its time to re-make, re-boot or retire some of our most memorable franchises.

What movies do you think deserve a remake?

Hi Robert,

CITY BENEATH THE SEA was a TV adaptation of a theatrical sci-fi feature from the late 50s

I hope yourself and the scintillating members of the Post Singularity have had an excellent weekend and are fully renewed for the week ahead. I know I have approached this topic before. However, I believe it is an interesting subject for discussion to involve new members of the Post Geek Singularity as they might like to disclose their recommendations for likely remakes in the chat.

I feel that instead of producing countless remakes of films only ten years old and the endless stream of reboots, Hollywood studios should produce remakes of films released some considerable time ago that sounded good in a treatment but for some reason didn’t transfer well onto film. Whether it was inadequate scripts, low budget, poor acting or simply being a case of the right film being released at the wrong time. These are just some of the films that I believe deserve a remake:

Cross Plot (1969), City Beneath the Sea (1971), Countess Dracula (1971), Night Flight From Moscow (1973), The Thief Who Came to Dinner (1973), Juggernaut (1974), The Odessa File (1974), The Ultimate Warrior (1975), Night Moves (1975), The Marseille Contract (1974), The Eiger Sanction (1975), Burnt Offerings (1976), The Cassandra Crossing (1976), The Black Hole (1979), Escape to Athena (1979), Sea Wolves (1980), Watcher in the Woods (1980), Explorers (1985) and Enemy Mine (1985).

Although, I have to say to say while I have concluded in the list, like yourself, Robert, I like The Cassandra Crossing. It was successful in Japan. I love how you’ve have stated you would love to remake 2010: The Year we Make Contact (1984). I would really be down for seeing it on the silver screen if you, Robert, were to receive the opportunity to do it. It would certainly be a very interesting film.

Also, I would love an official live-action film set within the Star Trek franchise directed by you. Your knowledge and love of the franchise is unparalleled.

That, coupled with your passion for, and experience in, filmmaking would result in a great film being realised on the big screen.

But I’ve digressed ever so slightly – back to the subject at hand….apart from that particular film, what other films would you love to see received their second shot at glory?

Well, that is it from me. I hope yourself and the PGS have a great start to the week.

Sincerely,
Jason Webster

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A second look at Season Two of “The Mandalorian”

In writing on the most recent season of the Mandalorian I found myself often repeating many of the points I made in a previous letter on the first season, and decided to make this one more of an addendum to that.

Addendum:
Another year, another season of The Mandalorian.

Mando … this is the way.

Oddly, I find myself neither disappointed nor enthused, it ended up being almost a net zero for the character Mando, largely because this season was not really about his story but more about resetting him and setting the table for the slate of spin-offs to come.  I understand for a lot of people the shine of ‘The Child’ was an obsession they feared would tarnish with familiarity but I would have happily watched multiple seasons of Mando playing Lone Wolf and Cub through the galaxy in an errant quest for mystics.

Exploring an infinite galaxy of adventure with an infant wizard and his metal guardian, sounds pretty Heavy Metal to me, alas.  But the Expanded Universe is the paramount concern for Disney, if your T.V. shows aren’t synergizing with each other, people won’t know about all the other characters they need to buy merch for; I had been afraid fanservice would be my biggest problem going in but it turns out that it was the Marvelization that impacted the story the most.

Ashoka has an anime fight before looking into the camera to say “THRAWN” exeunt. Bo-Katan is introduced and Mando made relevant to her story, while Baby Grogu and Luke disappear off to possibly make further cameos, or even a Jedi Academy show.  Not to mention the very Marvel post-credit scene introducing yet another spin-off with Boba Fett, who wasn’t cut in half, but did fall down an endless pit.

I probably would have felt more aghast about his resurrection if the show hadn’t given clues to the OCD (Obsessive Canon Disorder) nerds that needed them most. On this last point, circumstances beyond my control have kept me from watching this season with any normies, doing so helps me discern between what works in the show, and what just works for me, like that time walking out of Solo when I had to resignedly explain that it indeed took place after Episode I, so whether or not all these cameos and resurrections bogged down the narrative for them as much as it did for me, I can’t say.

This is a long winded way of saying all my fears for season 2 were realized, Filoni’s canon has been successfully grafted, all while setting up the Marvel Method of media saturation, pleasing all masters; and yet, thanks to some compelling character moments and world building I still enjoyed it.

I’ve seen the big board with all the shows on it so I know that we’ll be getting a lot of Star Wars in our near future, with so many shows on the horizon Filoni and Kennedy don’t even need to jockey for any lebensraum. It’ll be interesting to see how much contrition Disney shows for bungling the roll out of their brand new franchise and how conscientious Lucasfilm will be to avoid the kind of dysfunction that running in so many different directions has created.

Doing too much too quickly was the downfall of the Sequel trilogy.  Star Wars now fully in streaming mode, only means there are that many more plates to spin.

I didn’t used to think Star Wars could be all things to all people, but Disney seems to want to attempt it.

May the Force be with them.

Still, I have reservations.
Christopher McCullough

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Who makes your list of “the greatest actors of all time”?

Hi Robert,

Who makes your list of the greatest actors of all time?

I hope yourself and the excellent members of the Post Geek Singularity have had a beautiful start to the week after recharging over the weekend.

I was reading an article about the men that are considered the greatest actors of all-time. I have asked myself many times who would be in my list of the greatest actors of all-time. I am sure many people have asked themselves that question – especially critics, theorists, acting coaches and fans.

For myself, a great actor is someone who not only possesses talent and versality to transition into any character within any genre, but also whose performances convinces you are seeing the characters he portrays and not the actor every time he appears on the big screen. Through voice and movement (facial expressions, gestures and etc) he wholly embodies the character.

So, without further ado, here is my list of the best actors of all-time: Peter O’Toole, Richard Harris, Mel Gibson, Al Pacino, Peter Ustinov, John Hurt, Sean Penn, Cary Grant, Robert Shaw, Steve McQueen, Orson Welles, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Russell Crowe, Gary Oldman, Daniel Day Lewis, Sir Laurence Olivier.

Here is what I consider the best performances of these actors and my personal favourites:

Peter O’Toole: Henry II in The Lion in the Winter (1968), T.E Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia (1961), Alan Swann in My Favourite Year (1982), Eli Cross in The Stunt Man (1980), Reginald Johnston in The Last Emperor (1987)

Richard Harris: John Morgan in A Man Called Horse (1970), Oliver Cromwell in Cromwell (1970), Frank Machin (This Sporting Life (1963), King Arthur in (Camelot (1967), Dt. James McPharlan in The Molly Maguires (1971), Bull McCabe in The Field (1990), Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Fallon in Juggernaut (1974), Knut Straud in The Heroes of Telemark (1965), Cpt. Rafer Janders in Wild Geese (1978)

Mel Gibson: Guy Hamilton in The Year of Living Dangerously (1983), Frank Dunne in Gallipoli (1981) Dale McKussic in Tequila Sunrise (1988), Tom Garvey in The River (1984), Justin McLeod in Man Without a Face (1994) James Murray in The Professor and the Madman (2019), Lt Col Hal Moore in We Were Soldiers (2002), Bret Maverick in Maverick (1993), Driver/The Gingo in Get the Gringo ()

Roberto De Niro: Vito Corleone (The Godfather Part II), Michael Vronsky (The Deer Hunter), Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver), Jake La Matta (Raging Bull), Al Capone (The Untouchables), Leonard Lowe (Awakenings), Maximillian “Max” Cady (Cape Fear), Neil McCauley (Heat), Louis Gara (Jackie Brown), James “Jimmy the Gent” Conway (Goodfellas), Father Bobby (Sleepers)

Al Pacino: Frank Serpico in Serpico (1973), Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972), Lowell Bergman in The Insider (1999), Shylock in Merchant of Venice (2004), Sonny Wortzik in Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Lt. Col. Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman (1993),

Peter Ustinov: Nero in Quo Vadis (1951), Lentulus Batiatus in Spartacus (1960), Hercule Poirot in Death on the Nile (1978), Arthur Simon Simpson in Topaki (1964), Rupert Venneker in The Sundowners (1960), Blackbeard in Blackbeard’s Ghost (1968), Marcus Pendleton/Caesar Smith in Hot Millions (1968)

John Hurt: Joh Merrick in The Elephant Man (1980), Control in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011), Caligula in I, Claudius (), Chancellor Adam Sutler in V for Vendetta (2005), Cane in Alien (1979)

Sean Penn: James Jimmy Markum in Mystic River (2003), Samuel “Sam” Dawson in I am Sam (2001), Harvey Milk in “Milk”, Paul Rivers in 21Grams (2003), Daulton Lee in Falcon and the Snowman (1985), Jeff Spacoli in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

Cary Grant: Roger Thornhill in North by Northwest (1959), John Robie in To Catch a Thief (1953), Walter Burns in His Girl Friday (1940), T.R Devlin in Notorious (1946), Leopold Dilg in Talk of the Town (1942), Nick Ferrante in An Affair to Remember (1957), Brian Cruikshank in Charade (1963), Lt. Cmdr. Matt T. Sherman in Operation Petticoat (1959)

Christopher Plummer: Cpt. Georg Von Trapp in The Sound of Music (1965), Squadron Leader Colin Harvey in Battle of Britain (1969), Sherlock Holmes in Murder by Decree (1978), Joseph in Eyewitness (1981), Mike Wallace in The Insider (1999), Arthur Case in Inside Man (2006), Hal Fields in Beginners (2010), J. Paul Getty in All the Money in the World (2017)

Robert Shaw: Quint in Jaws (1975), Henry VIII in A Man for Al Seasons (1966), Doyle Lonnegan in The Sting (1973), Bernard Ryder/Mr. Blue in Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974), Romer Treece in The Deep (1977)

Steve McQueen: Frank Bulllitt in Bullitt (1968), Thomas Crown in The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), Michael Delaney in Le Mans (1971), Cpt. Virgil Hilts in The Great Escape (), Mike O’Halloran (The Towering Inferno (1974)

Orson Welles: Charles Foster Kane in Citizen Kane (1941), Harry Lime in The Third Man (1949), Macbeth in Macbeth (1948), Hank Quinlan in A Touch of Evil (1958), Michael O’Hara in The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

Sir Anthony Hopkins: Mr. Stevens in The Remains of the Day (1993), Adolf Hitler in The Bunker (1980), Prince Richard in The Lion in the Winter (1968), Dr. Frederick Treves in The Elephant Man (1980), Pope Benedict XVI in The Two Popes (2018)

Russell Crowe: Jeffrey Wigand in The Insider (1999), Prof. John Nash in A Beautiful Mind (2001), Hando in Romper Stomper (1992), Dt. Bud White in L.A. Confidential (1996), Dt. Richie Roberts in American Gangster (2007), Jackson Healy in Nice Guys (2016), Cal McAffrey in State of Play (2009)

Gary Oldman: Winston Churchill in Darkest Hours (2018), Drexl Spivey in True Romance (1994), Vlad Dracula in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), Norman Stanfield in Leon: The Professional (1993), Sid Vicious in Sid & Nancy (1986)

Daniel Day Lewis: Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln (2012), Christy Brown in My Left Foot (1989), Daniel Plainview in There Will be Blood (2007), Bill “The Butcher” Cutting in Gangs of New York (2002), Cecil Vyse in A Room with a View (1986), Newland Archer in Age of Innocence (1992)

Sir Laurence Olivier: Henry V in Henry V (1944), Dr Christian Szell in Marathon Man (1975), Hamlet in Hamlet (1948), Richard III in Richard III (1955), Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights (1939), Maxim de Winter in Rebecca (1940), Andrew Wyke in Sleuth (1972), Marcus Licinius Crassus in Spartacus (1960), Mahdi in Khartoum (1966)

Watching a great actor give a commanding performance is like listening to a rock band like Queen or watching a round from Tiger Woods, Pele and Maradona on the football field, Michael Jordan on the basketball court or a stunning lap from Formula 1 great Ayrton Senna – they leave you in awe of their exceptional talent. Their dedication and passion have seen them transcend their chosen field of excellence and become global icons.

Well, that is it from me. I hope yourself and the PGS enjoy the week.

Sincerely,
Jason Webster

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Is it possible DC and Marvel are the two greatest threats to the comics industry?

Hi, Rob …

Yes, it’s time for another torrent of verbiage as the release of the first Eternals footage and the changed titles of two MCU sequels to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and The Marvels has prompted me to express a concern of mine.

Could DC and Marvel be their own un-doing and bring the industry down in the meantime?

There’s a lot of ongoing discussion regarding the survival of the theatrical movie business but Marvel and DC have made recent changes that threaten the comic industry. DC started this when they pulled out of their distribution deal with Diamond comics. There were multiple distributors of comics to retailers in the 90s until Marvel decided to buy Heroes World and handle their own distribution. This resulted in various publishers signing exclusive distribution deals that led to a distribution war that ultimately ended up with Diamond being the sole distributor of all the major comic companies in the US, UK and possibly a few other territories.

DC has rumoured to have been running its monthly titles at a loss for years but still publishing to off set the collected editions, keep the IP in circulation and to maintain certain copyrights (such as Superman and Wonder Woman). In fact, Marvel very nearly licensed the DC characters in 1984 (and was the start of John Byrne’s man of Steel project) until First Comics threatened to sue on anti-trust grounds. Both Marvel and Dc have been come very corporate over the last 15 years with editorial taking a greater lead than the vision of creators that has traditionally steered both companies. This has led to Dc relaunching its universe numerous times over the past decade as they try to rectify editorial decisions (the treatment of Wally West for instance, based on a former executive’s dislike for sidekick characters: Nightwing also very narrowly survived being killed off too). The line has also become less diverse with Batman taking up about a third of the line, Superman, Wonder Woman and the JLA characters taking up most of the rest with just a few odd properties like Suicide Squad and Teen Titans filling out the rest. There were also rumours that if the Rebirth launch failed, it would be the final straw for the current model.

With DC going with an alternate distributor more focussed on getting their books into book shops where the collections have greater sales, rumours have risen again that the cuthroat owners of DC may be looking at licensing out their characters to other publishers so they don’t have to waste time with the monthly business which represents more hassle than its worth in their overall business.

At this point, DC and Marvel could probably both survive for a while based on their back catalogues alone and there are more than enough story ideas there to fuel their filmed spinoffs: WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Suicide Squad all have their roots in 80s comics for instance, throwing in elements from other eras as well.

With Marvel now also pulling away from Diamond as their distributors to the mass market (I think they remain suppliers to the comic shops), this is quite a concern when there is only one distributor to comic shops. As Marvel and DC form the majority of comic book sales, this presents a potential cash flow or financial viability concern to Diamond.

I grew up on Marvel and Dc but rarely buy anything new from them as their IP has been so mishandled over recent years that I can no longer enjoy their output, which is now quite expensive and can be read in only a few minutes. Bendis and Loeb both wasted double page spreads devoted to logos with no story or art in relaunch issues at Marvel for instance, which was unforgivable.

However, there is a whole world of other comics out there. Image, IDW, Dark Horse, Dynamite and Boom remain among the larger companies but there are also companies translating manga and foreign material, publishing magazines about comics, printing licenced comics, alternative and independent comics and reprinting older material in deluxe or affordable new volumes.

This latter category tends to be where my comic money goes nowadays: for instance, I am hoping that Fantagraphics publish a second volume of Wally Wood EC science fiction stories as the first only collected around half of his work. In my idle fantasies, I’d like to form my own company and print nice collections of Al Williamson’s non-EC short strips from the 50s to the 80s or Marvel UK’s Black Knight strip from 1979’s Hulk Weekly (three page black and white serialised chapters where Merlin reunites Black Knight with an amnesiac Captain Britain and sets them forth on a fantasy quest to save Otherworld: its Lord of the Rings with superhero leads and is awesome!) ((I’ve attached a few quick images ))

My fear is that Marvel and DC could destabilize the comic market like it was in the 90s, when it very nearly collapsed. If it does, its not just the Big Two that go but the other publishers and merchandise companies with it. Comic shops are probably my favourite places in the world, the purest wealth of imagination you can ever imagine. I cant even get into London’s Forbidden Planet without having to stop and drool over all the Hot Toys, statues and figurines lining the glass display units as you pass the tills.

So Rob, I know you discussed some of this on an early Midnight Metal but what are your thoughts on this whole things?

So once again, sorry about the length (as the actress said to the bishop) and thanks for your indulgence.

Nigel L.

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Remembering Voltron, Robotech, Transformers, but most of all, Mobile Suit Gundam

Hello to the great RMB,

I know that you get tons of letters, differing on various subjects, but I wanted to talk to you about Mobile Suit Gundam. As far back as I can remember from childhood, the first thing I can remember watching was Voltron in the 80’s. Watching the five lions come together to form a super giant robot was unlike anything I had ever seen.

My older brother, who is 6 years older than me, would scoff at me and say “It doesn’t compare to Robotech”, the show he adored when he was my age at the time. I loved the mecha/ robot genres shows that existed, but I wasn’t crazy about Transformers like my friends in school were or like John Campea. That being said, I would find certain shows that appealed to my older senses such as Tekkaman Blade, Bubblegum Crisis, Neon Genesis, and Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets).

But on March 6th, 2000, Cartoon Network started airing Mobile Suit Gundam Wing.

Mobile Suit Gundam

When I had saw the trailer for the show, I couldn’t believe that I had never checked out the highly regarded mecha series. I was so mad at myself for not realizing that it was possibly the FIRST giant robot/ mecha show ever to be created, and that it had been around for so many decades. Unlike shows like Robotech and Voltron, that dealt with humans fighting against alien invaders, MS Gundam instead focused on humans battling other humans!

That blew my mind.

It was realizing the weight of what it meant to have humans KILL other humans, whether they were foot, inside office buildings within metropolitan cities or within inside a mobile suit.

Gundam Wing, unlike previous Gundam series before it, featured 5 unique Gundam pilots and their unique Gundams as it’s protagonists, rather than having just one character being the ace pilot of the mobile suit. The show tug at my heartstrings, as it brought me back to the 5 pilots of Voltron, each one manning their own robot lion.

I loved how cynical, fearless, and utter ruthless each Gundam pilot was, even Quatre Raberba Winner, who amongst the five pilots, was the most compassionate. Eventually, the tole and bloodshed of war finally catches up to Quatre, and he begins to destroy space colonies out of rage of losing his family members, friends, and comrades. It was awesome.

The characters in these “cartoons” just felt real (even though the whining and screaming often got tiresome and old, even I have to admit that). The show’s ending (spoiler for a show that’s now 26 years old) had one of the greatest endings to a show I had ever seen. Watching Heero and Zechs, two men who would battle each other throughout the entire show with their respective mobile suits and different ones as well, have their final duel inside a piece of spaceship that is plummeting towards the Earth was nothing short but insane to me.

There just wasn’t anything like this in any kind of American show, live action or animated, like this. It’s one of the many reasons I love the medium of anime. You can convey and do things in this genre, anime specifically really, that I truly believe you cannot do in any other form.

In 2007, I was in my second year of college at the University of Arizona, and I found myself falling out of love for the genre of anime. I believed the best had already come and passed, and that there was nothing worth spending my attention to. That all changed when I discovered Mobile Suit Gundam 00. I fell back in love with giant mecha shows once again.

The main character (Setsuna F. Seiei) looked like me, and it made me identify myself within a show that I never dreamed was possible. Let’s face it. Most anime characters, and American cartoon characters, were mostly White. The only time there was a character that bore the same resemblance as me was Apu from The Simpsons, and most of the time, was pretty much mocked for being and immigrant that spoke in a funny accent.

That was not the case with Setsuna. He felt real and tangible. He was a Kurdish child soldier that had witness war at such a young age, he felt that with the help of his Mobile Suit, he could change the outcome of the world as a whole, and stop all useless wars. Again, it was rad as hell, man.

In 2014, I moved to San Diego to complete my PhD program in Clinical Research at UCSD. I had just broken up with my girlfriend at the time, I didn’t really know anyone there, so I spent the majority of my time with my nose in the books and in front of my laptop.

When I did have any downtime, I would go surfing and hunt for the best tacos I could, but I still found myself getting bored and restless. I was tired of watching the same old movies that I had seen numerous times. It was time to plunge back into the world of Gundam, and boy did I binge the shit out of the series. I watched almost every Gundam series there was except for that Gundam fighter show and Gundam SEED (People tell me to give SEED a chance, but I can’t get into the characters, plot and the animation). I watched Gundam Unicorn baked out my mind, and I ended up almost having a panic attack because of how soul shattering the story was. When certain characters died, it felt like you were losing characters that you followed in a novel, or a highly toted series that could be a sister show to Game of Thrones.

However, there really is nothing like the original Mobile Suit Gundam 0079. The story, epic. The Zakus, dope. The lone RX-78 Gundam mobile suit, which would become the launch pad for other numerous, numerous Gundam models to come, impeccable. Even the story’s setting, one that tells of the Earth succumbing to climate change, famine, displacement of whole populations, and war – leading to humans wanting to branch out into space just floored me. I mean, this was a manga/ show that was created in 1979, but it felt decades beyond it’s time.

It’s probably how you felt when you first saw Star Wars in ’77, huh? And Rob, can we talk about Char Aznable, the Red Comet himself? I mean, what an unbelievable character. He’s cold, calculating, always 500 steps ahead of everyone else, and possibly the greatest mobile suit pilot ever. He tells his engineers that his Red Zaku feels “slow”, and to enhance the speed mechanics while any other human would die from the duress and the sheer force of gravity that the Zaku places on the pilot. Though he reminds me a little of Speed Racer’s older brother Rex (Racer X), he’s still really only of a kind.

A few days ago, I stumbled on something called Mobile Suit Gundam – The Origin. It tells of Char and Sayla’s past, but also expands on the history of the two characters, as well how the One Year War, often refereed to as the greatest tragedy of mankind, came to be.

Have you seen these OVA’s Rob? While the lack the mobile suit battles and fights, it’s human elements of the movies that I find so appealing. Anyways, I think I’ve barked on for long enough. If you’re reading this to your live audience, they’re probably wondering “Is this guy gonna shut the hell up or not?”

Hahaha, I don’t ever send in superchats, and this is the first letter that I’ve ever typed to someone I’ve been watching on YouTube for almost a decade now, so I hope you and your viewers will forgive me. But I just had to write to you dude. I feel like you’re one of very few people that gets this stuff TRULY and loves it with the same passion as I do.

Thank you for your time Rob, and let’s pray that they don’t fuck up the live action Gundam move hahaha!

Yellow Flash

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What direction now for the MCU?

Hi Rob, moderators, and Post Geek Singularity,

This new sizzle of MCU movies got me wondering something. The comics have been around for decades, and the characters have had countless stories over those decades, due to the floating timeline which exists in comics.

However, since real life lacks a floating timeline, that makes me interested in knowing how long the MCU will go under Kevin Feige’s watchful eye.

There’s 2 ways how I could see the MCU go.

On one hand, it will go on in the same continuity for who knows how long, even if Kevin Feige leaves and someone else takes over. The movies will do either a passing of the torch type of thing with new people taking on the heroes’ mantles, due to the original cast members getting older, or if the plan is to do a floating timeline type of thing, do a James Bond thing and recast the actors so the heroes don’t age that much despite the changing years.

On the other, Kevin Feige has a plan to do a definitive end, where the current universe comes full circle and does a big series finale type thing, so everything gets wrapped up and comes to a close, all with the same cast. Then that would be when he leaves, and someone else will come in and either remake or reboot the MCU from scratch.

Now granted, that’s just me theorizing, since I have no idea what will happen, but those were the 2 ways which I could see the MCU go.

Thanks, live long and prosper.

Omar 94

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