Twenty-five years ago, TWISTER stormed into theaters and blew the lid off the box office. Imagination Connoisseurs from throughout the Post-Geek Singularity share their letters, thoughts and opinions ….

Why change and established character when you can just create a new one?

RMB,

Glad to hear that you are at the infancy stage of joining the community of watch enthusiasts. I would recommend watching The Urban Gentry hosted by TGV. He has great knowledge about not only watches but horology itself. He has a good way about him and best of all he is not a watch snob. He speaks about $15 Casios to $300,000 Pateks. Anyway, come and join us on this great ride.

I think I may piss some people off but oh well, what are you going to do? I do not understand the whole notion of fans needing a certain color, race, sex, gender, etc to relate to them in movies, comics, music, or whatever. By my name I am sure you can guess what I may look like so why is it so weird that the people that I tried to strive to be are nothing like me. I did not have a Larry Bird poster in my room, but rather Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson hung from my walls. My favorite athlete was Bo Jackson. When it came to hockey I wanted to be like Gretzky or Lemieux. These athletes were different, and I wanted to be like them because they were great at what they did, not because they checked a box. My wife who is older than me speaks about how music and comedy in 80’s had no color. Everyone seemed to listen to everything. It was awesome and music now cannot duplicate the fun and meaning it did then.

I hear both the complaints and cheering when characters are being changed. What I don’t hear is a good reason as to why a new character is not just made. I’m guessing the answer is it is easier to take an existing property and work with that. But is it? Seems like you are pissing “true” fans off more than bringing new fans in.

Robservations #682 spoke about millennials and film. JC speaks to how there is no downside remakes. He says that if a remake turns out to be good then great. If it doesn’t you still have the original. This is why I disagree with his opinion. If the remake stinks most millennials don’t even know there was an original and will never watch it because it’s too old. The history of film is being lost much like sports or music. Except with the hard core fans many do not know no where things came from or what led to what we have now. Sound familiar (politics, society)? Please, as someone who loves history can we learn from the past to make a better future? Anyway….sorry about the rant. Next letter will be fun and about entertainment, I promise.

Have you seen a series on Netflix called Lupin? It is a fun French series about a thief.

Thanks again for your level headed commentary, and you sir…..Have a better day.

Kevin

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What the world of sci-fi needs right now is STARGATE.

Hi Rob,

Is STARGATE the sci-fi franchise of the future?

You have ranted against modern Trek. And I have made no secret of the fact that I’m not a fan either. At the same time, the writing on Doctor Who has also tanked. And IMHO the less said about the disaster that is the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, the better.

Long story short, the sci-fi board needs a game changer, something that will have all these shows for breakfast. Because it has humor, good stories and great characters. And that game changer should be called…..STARGATE !

If SG-1 came out today, it would wipe the floor with all of these shows. But especially Discovery. And yes, I know that some people don’t like Stargate Universe. But, like a fine wine, it has gotten better with age. Especially season 2. Finally, Twin Destinies is one of the best episodes, but I still don’t believe that it was a fluke of physics that threw Rush back in time. *Cough* Hand of Omega ? *Cough*

Anyway, can I get some love for SG ?

Regards

Ruben

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Sometimes, it’s worth considering the “other side” in contract disputes.

Hi Rob,

You can just refer to me as Scott.

Long time viewer, first time writer – so, before I get to my point, a little introduction:

I’ve been watching you since Schnepp brought you onto the AMC shows – in particular, AMC Heroes, which I watched on the daily. I always felt like you (and Schnepp) were kindred spirits, as we were born within 7 months of each other, and share extremely similar taste in movies, music, and comics.

I comment often on your videos, and there have been a few times, over the years, when I’ve considered writing you a longer reply, in the form of a letter, but I tend to keep pretty busy, and have always lost the motivation to actually sit down and write, as real life demands pop up. This time, I figured, make the time, dude!

Are contract disputes like the one between the producer and star of A Quiet Place 2 and their studio.

In Robservations episode #683, you talked about Hollywood contract dispute/resolution, in particular regarding the box office bump for above-the-line talent, in the post-Covid era.

First, let me state that I agree with your general assertions that, “You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate,” and also that studios will do whatever they can to screw you.

BUT, I want to play devil’s advocate here. Contracts go both ways – the studios ALSO have an interest in putting everything down on paper, and holding everyone to those obligations. As I brought up in the comments, a classic case of an artist screwing over a publishing company, due to lack of a paper contract, is The Butthole Surfers vs. Touch and Go Records.

Touch and Go was very punk, and used to do business on handshake deals, because they and their artists were all friends. But, once the Butts became big, and signed with Capital Records, and stood to make a lot more money with their entire back catalog moved to Capital, they sued Touch and Go over the rights to those earlier records – and they won, because there was no contract. So THEY screwed Touch and Go – not the other way around.

So, on the topic of the box office bumps for above-the-line talent in Hollywood – where am I going with this? You said, “Who wants to get into costly litigation when you’re going to lose, because you’ve got it on a contract?”

But, unless the pre-Covid contracts had clauses requiring certain theatrical windows, what makes you think the studios would LOSE those lawsuits? I mean, if the contract simply states that certain individuals get a certain percentage of the box office – that’s that. The talent can’t claim some force majeure if the expected box office receipts don’t materialize, to claim that they SHOULD get more money – just as the studios can’t refuse to pay out the contractual percentage, if the movie makes $3 billion, claiming, “well, we never EXPECTED the movie to make THAT much.”

The talent, I’m sure, are claiming that the SPIRIT of the contract was that revenues be shared, box office or not – but, if that’s not clearly delineated in the contract, the studio has no obligation to pay out based on any “anticipated” profits, nor other sources of revenue that aren’t specified.

But, Scoooooottttttt, you may be saying 🙂 Why, then, did WB go ahead and settle with all the talent of their 2021 releases, and pay out based on pre-Covid anticipated box office? I haven’t read the contracts, of course, so this is just a guess – but probably, to preserve good will among filmmakers and talent. I mean, WB Media did something pretty dumb in announcing their day and date HBOmax plan, WITHOUT renegotiating contracts FIRST. They were facing a mass exodus of people saying they’d never work with WB again.

My guess is THAT was much more of a motivator than the potential of losing any lawsuits over box office bumps. They already looked like giant ass-holes, in the weeks after that announcement came out – can you imagine how confidence in the studio would have further eroded, if they fought Christopher Nolan, Denis Villeneuve, and Legendary Pictures in court? In fact, studio lawsuits are often settled out of court, not because the studios are afraid of losing the case, but because they want to avoid the negative publicity, and negative consequences within the industry.

In any case, I’m sure agents/lawyers/studios/talent have worked a lot of this out by now, and future contracts WILL take into account other revenue streams besides box office. Hopefully, the pre-Covid contracts can be settled to everyone’s satisfaction, so that we continue to get awesome content! It would be a bummer if anything happened to Quiet Place 2, eh?

Scott C.

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One Imagination Connoisseur’s journey through a Galaxy Far, Far Away.

Good Day to you Mr. Burnett,

My name is James Alquist and this is the first letter I’m writing to you. Before I get into my topic, I just want to say how important your voice is during these divisive times especially among fandoms. I first discovered you on Collider Heroes and have occasionally watched you during your appearances on the channel. Your takes on the many different types of fandom are so incredibly nuanced, it has made me a more open minded individual when addressing problems within my own fandom. As much as I would like to praise your

When I was 5 years old in 1997, I discovered three VHS tapes at a family friends home that has stolen my heart & mind ever since. There was a parted face on each VHS cover which was Darth Vader, A Stormtrooper and Yoda which painfully drove my father mad because I watched all three movies on that day. As I grew older, my love for it grew as the Prequels released and I dove into the Expanded Universe. When the Prequels were coming out, they were receiving a lot of criticism and sometimes pure hate.

Growing up with STAR WARS.

As a child I defended them relentlessly from anyone that I found being “negative” towards them even if it was fair criticism. As I grew up, I was able to see some of those flaws, predominately the acting and when I first brought that up to my circle of friends I was told “Well, Star Wars is for children and not for us” I hated this statement. I only knew one other person who has said it before and that was George Lucas. I felt like I wasn’t allowed to address Star Wars for it’s flaws while still loving it’s strengths.

After that moment, I wanted to hear and learn more from people who didn’t like them because I wanted their voices to be heard. After gathering some criticisms and vetting them with what I agreed or disagreed with, I would go back to my friends and present it to them. Some of them would listen while I would be dismissed once again except this time being told “I guess you’re just too old for Star Wars now”.

It was shortly after Revenge of the Sith and I was a teenager, not a full grown adult and this drove me mad internally. At this point I felt like I wasn’t allowed to be a fan anymore and the worst part is I bought into it. For roughly 5 years I didn’t engage in Star Wars talk again until around 2010.

I had joined the Army after graduating high school and my first roommate Tom asked me if I liked Star Wars and with enthusiasm I said “YES”. After talking for hours about some of our favorite things from the Originals, Prequels and the Expanded Universe we began talking about criticisms and I was hesitant but, when I told him about how I couldn’t be a fan anymore, he told me “fuck that, George Lucas is wrong when he says Star Wars is for children. It’s not for children, it’s for the child in everyone of us”. My mind was blown. I had never thought of that before and all of sudden I felt ok to be a Star Wars fan again.

For years I was rediscovering Star Wars again. I was reading the Young Jedi Knight books, discovering the Yuuzhan Vong War in the New Jedi Order and playing every game that had a Star Wars label on it. When Disney announced a new trilogy was coming out starting in 2015 I was hyped to say the least except this time I reminded myself to not let my love for Star Wars interfere with approaching it honestly.

I was on my last deployment in the Army when The Force Awakens came out and thankfully I wasn’t in a combat zone this time and had an internet connection where I watch a spanish bootleg at least 10 times when I had time off. It wasn’t a perfect movie and had plenty of flaws but, it captured the feeling of Star Wars and I was hyped for the second movie.

In 2017 when The Last Jedi came out, I experienced for the first time what is was like to actually hate a movie from my fandom. I hid my dislike for it though because I didn’t want to hate it so I went through hell to tell tell people I liked it however, no matter what I did to try and convince myself I couldn’t. I was living a lie because I loved Star Wars so much I had to be honest with myself and everyone around me. I was hoping to start having honest conversations with fans who loved and hated it so I could understand multiple perspectives again yet, this time the environment was so toxic hardly anyone would talk to anyone outside their team.

I was told repeatedly that “Star Wars is for children, get over it” or “You’re not allowed to be a fan because it’s for children, go home boomer” and other horrible words I have never been called before. My love disappeared, I believed my fandom died. My energy for the fandom went dry and I had come to the conclusion Star Wars died with The Last Jedi. I got rid of everything Star Wars related for free, didn’t even sell it.

I didn’t care for the release of The Rise of Skywalker, I just wanted to see it so I could have a proper funeral for my fandom. I had a feeling Disney would throw everything some crazy fans would want in the movie to make us “happy” and damn was I right. It’s not a good movie at all but, I realized something after watching it. I couldn’t give up on my fandom.

I loved Star Wars and with the lack of people trying to bring people together and have hard conversations with our fandom, I wanted to help bridge that gap. I want people to learn what I learned 11 years ago and that Star Wars isn’t just for children. Star Wars is for the that CHILD IN US who saw the VHS covers and played them non-stop, the teenager who wanted to learn more about other fans critiques or the adult who wants to watch a story from a long time ago in a galaxy far far away for the 100th time.

Thank you for reading my letter and I hope I didn’t go off the rails too much. I hope we as fans can appreciate our differences more so than be at each other’s throats. Have a wonderful day and I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards,

James Alquist

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Discovering new stories and adventures with friends made in the PGS

Hey there Rob! I just want to start by saying that hearing you read my first letter was everything I needed and then some. I laughed, I cried, and my smile reached from ear to ear the entire time. Thank you for taking the time to interact with imagination connoisseurs such as yourself.
(P.S.- Im gonna hold you to that Toys R Us trip!)

In my first letter I told you I had started the Amazon Prime series “Them” due to your recommendation. I was only 3 episodes in, but a day after I sent that letter I had binged the entirety of Season 1. All I can say is that it was one of the most intense and intelligent series I’ve seen in a very long time. Not to dive too deep into spoiler territory, but the designs of the “ghosts” or “hauntings” were so fascinating to me. Especially Henry’s “haunting”. They aren’t your typical scary ghosts. They are significant symbols that represent a specific type of horror. Not jump-scare horror, but something along the lines of historical horror.

On the advice of a fellow Imagination Connoisseur, Gavin found and enjoye THEM on Amazon PRIME.

The fear doesn’t necessarily come only from the look of these “hauntings”, but their meaning and context. I love when horror is subtle and smart, not shoved in your face. I felt that the ending wrapped up everything very nicely, and even offered a glimmer of hope with the closing song and shot. I thoroughly enjoyed the show and was pumped to hear that a Season 2 had been confirmed. From what I’ve read, it seems that this series will be an Anthology and focus on a different family for the next season. I think this is a very smart choice and it only excites me more.

I also wanted to add that I’m in the middle of watching Robservations #683, and it seems the chain of recommendations passes down through the Post Geek Singularity.

I heard Black Phillip Alvarez had wrote in talking about my letter and how it convinced him to give the show a try. I can’t even explain how hyped this made me, I was fist pumping the air saying “Hell yea Phillip!”. Much like you Rob, I get a wee bit salty when someone doesn’t like media I’ve recommended. But I am so glad that someone was able to hear my amateur review and have it convince them to try something new.

This is why the Post Geek Singularity is the best community of people I’ve come across on the internet. It is all about sharing, loving and caring about geeky stuff.

Once again, I can’t thank you enough for everything you do Rob. I will hopefully be writing back soon to give you my initial thoughts on the ORIGINAL Legend of the Galactic Heroes, and Im looking forward to new recommendations! Until then, I wish you all the best!

Gavin

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Twenty-five years ago, cinema audiences wanted to head to the basement.

Hi Rob, moderators, and Post Geek Singularity,

Another movie anniversary is upon us.

The movie TWISTER is twenty-five years old on May 10.

May 10, 2021 marks the 25 year anniversary of the Jan De Bont movie, Twister, which released on May 10, 1996.

Following the massive critical and commercial success of his directorial debut, Speed, in 1994, De Bont returned to the directors chair for Twister as his sophomore film. Starring in the film were Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

Despite a troubled production, which ended up causing the budget to increase, the film still made it on the big screen for the 1996 summer movie season.

While not reaching the same level of critical praise as Speed, it did however perform more financially successful, where it became the second highest grossing film of 1996, behind Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day, and got nominated for 2 Oscars: Best Sound and Best Visual Effects, though it didn’t win any.

There was even an indoor special effects attraction at Universal Studios Florida, called Twister…Ride It Out, which opened in 1998 and closed in 2015, being replaced with Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Thanks, live long and prosper.
Omar 94

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