Genuinely fun and joyous, UPGRADE indulges in the inherent silliness of its premise, never takes itself too seriously, while also taking the audience through a complex and well-constructed journey of intrigue and mystery.
STAR WARS was a sacred cinematic experience from my childhood as I shared in this earlier blog post. How dare someone attempt to recreate or reimagine the epic? Oh, the sacrilegious injustice! I could only imagine the desecration of no to low-budget cinematography, editing, and special effects to the STAR WARS canon.
Boy, was I proven wrong.
At some point, people are going to get bored of the same old characters, the same old dynamics, and stop going. But: the universe of STAR WARS is vast, deep and largely unexplored. I hope the success of ROGUE ONE will soften Disney’s view of what can work as a STAR WARS property and allow for new and exciting stories to be told in that galaxy so long ago and so far, far away.
I shake my fist in anger/fear at the kids today who will never understand renting a cartridge game from a video store after school on Fridays. The pressure was on, as you had 48 hours to make as much progress as possible before it was time to return it and return to normalcy on Monday. And if you rented STAR WARS on the original NES, you didn’t make much progress at all.
Thorn number one, why do I have TheEmperor03 email? Who else decided they deserve the most powerful Sith Overlord’s email address? I thought we programmed these clones without a sense of humor or desire for power. There must be a glitch. Speaking of glitches, have you addressed the pitiful marksmanship of the troopers with the blaster pistol trainer? Maybe Grand Moff Tarkin took TheEmperor@Dstar.emp. Let him know, if my prophecy is correct, I will replace him with an awkward droid projection with eyes dead as the Jedi.
Back in the day, we waited in line because we had to. That was the only way to see the show. By contrast, a month before its release, THE FORCE AWAKENS had already surpassed $50 million in advanced ticket sales, breaking the overall record previously held by THE HUNGER GAMES more than eight times over.
It seems we have hit a point of rigidity. We can’t make anything new or original without having it soaked in blood and gore. We certainly can’t make anything original AND with a diverse cast because the internet is still too young for it. So we must look back to “better days” where there was just not enough POC to make white people uncomfortable but give the industry a reason to say, “hey, look, you guys get roles too.”
Dan O’Bannon’s story is one of unabashed creativity and generic infusions, both in terms of hybridization and innovation. It is with this consideration and ambitions toward new horizons that we introduce the “Dan O’Bannon Other Worlds Austin Filmmaker Grant,” which we hope will allow burgeoning local voices representing the genres of SciFi, horror, and fantasy, an opportunity to bring those voices to fruition.
Why do I groan when I hear people talking about it, lavishing it with praise? Because I hold Star Wars to a higher standard than any other series, and because J.J. Abrams and his team didn’t. This new film suffered from lazy, repetitious storytelling, a disregard for the original trilogy, and a whole mess of missed opportunities.