Friday, June 26, 2009

frEEk in the Mirror: Michael Jackson

Namastes my freeklicious friends!

If u were as, this frEEk was, a child of the 70s /80s, u would have surely at some point grabbed, your crotch, attempted a falsetto scream and tried to shuffle ur behind, all in an attempt to imitate perhaps the greates musician, and undoubtedly the most unforgettable entertainer of all time : MICHAEL JACKSON.
Notwithstanding his phenom popularity in the West, Michael Jackson, uncannily enjoyed fame as perhaps the only "American" well-known to global audiences, right down to crafty "poster-sellers" in the sweaty bylanes of Mumbai, who soled many a poster of MJ in all his pelvic thrusting glory to the Indian teens, for whom MJ represented creative,aspirational and even cultural freedom.

Despite being musician, producer, dancer and inventor (yup, u read that right, check out his patent invention here) MJ, had a flirting relationship with cinema, and mastered the visual medium like no other artis before him had. watch his lavishly mounted music videos like smooth criminal, BAD and you will realise this. Let us then in our frEEky little way, pay tribute to ths legend, by taking a look at Michael's portrayal on celluloid:

Early Years: After breaking away from the Jackson Five (i distinctly remember an mtv promo which joked: Jackson 5 minus Michael Jackson = 0!), Michael's earliest attempts on screen,were the pathbreaking Moonwalker (featuring Smooth Criminal), the movie featured an awesome sequence (with 80s special effects) where Michael transforms into a Giant Robot, to destroy some bad guys..

In this escapist outing MJ (in an image that would haunt him him in his later years) as a friend to children, a sort of modern-day Peter Pan.

MJ, soon after even acted with his the "mentor" and "friend" Diana Ross, in a Motownesque adaptation of the Children's (a word we'll no doubt here again in this post!) tale: THE WIZ (based on the Wizard of Oz), while it did not set any cinematic milestones, it is remembered by nostaligc frEEks, as the one where Michael attempted to sing in a much lower (read masculine) voice than he usually does, take a look!

for best results, have a 'stash' at hand while watching this one!

MJ soon associated himself, with perhaps the greatest children's (there's that word again!) movie of all time E.T. by recording an "audio version" of the movie,

frEEks are us!

complete with a goose-bumply number called "Someone in the Dark" (it's not what you're thinking you pervs!) MJ would go on to win a Grammy (one of his 13) for this effort.

All the while, MJ was also subject to ridicule / caricature by other artists, most notably, Eddie Murphy who brilliantly pastiched MJ's mannerisms in his comedy routines; notably Delirious, from which the brilliant repost follows:

That Simpsons Cameo:

"Leon Kompowsky" - voiced by Michael Jackson on the Simpsons!

In the later years, MJ the music genius, hit the headlines for all the wrong movies, plastic surgery, child abuse allegations were what people knew him best for. Perhaps as rejoinder to all those, MJ made an uncredited cameo appearance on the Simpsons as "Leon Kompowsky" a mental institution inmate, who dances, sings, but unfortunately, looks nothing like Michael Jackson. Chaos ensues, when Homer Simspon, takes Leon to his town believing him to be the real Michael Jackson, only to be unceremoniously shooed away by the unbelieving townsfolk, in a touching moment, Leon tells Homer, to not be swayed by others, and only believe what his heart tells him to. Before leaving, "Leon" sings Lisa a birthday song, which is considered one of the best moments in the history of this epic television show, listen away!

In a frEEking twist of events, the "Leon" was credited to a "John J. Smith" and it remained an urban legend for several years, as to who actually "Leon" truly was until, almost 12 years to the date of the airing of the episode, it was revealed that the "Leon" voiceover was indeed provided by MJ himself, and was kept a secret as MJ was under forbidden under contract to record another television/media company, it remains one of televisions greatest "urban legends" to date!

All this while, MJ would continue to hold sway on pop and cinema culutre, not just in the west, but globally - check out India's own pelvic ( and i use that term loosely) thruster Govinda do his imitation of MJ's "BAD" dance moves..

Not to be outdone, India's southern superstar (and now wannabe politician) Chiranjeevi threw in his loose limbs in a frame by frame rip-off MJ's legendary "Thriller" dance..

For good measure, I have included the real deal below, take a look!

They say imitation is the best form of flattery, but I wonder if MJ would be proud!

Later years: In the later years, little was heard (cinematically) from our favorite one-gloved frEEk, MJ's last cinematic outing was the sci-fi extravaganza "Men in Black - II" where MJ, playing himself, and admitting he is an alien, requests to join the "men in black" and known as "Agent M" through the "alien affirmative action" program!

you cannot but admire the man, who gives in to his harshest critics, that too on screen!
Perhaps, it is indeed true, and MJ was not of this world, but was given to us, to entertain, enthrall and embolden us, and now that we had all grown up, and needed him no more, this eternal Peter Pan had whisked away in search other galaxies to entertain.

good bye MJ, they took you away, but they can never take away your music!

extra frEEky: "Billie Jean" is the greatest pop-song of all time, period!

Friday, June 5, 2009

uNHOLY Trinity : Three on Trek!!

Wassup my Frekkies!!
(that's umm.. frEEks who are trekkies, never mind!!)

It's trek season folks, and in continuation of our tribute to this legendary television saga, we unleash another installment, of that ever popular feature of ours: THE UNHOLY TRINITY!!

Tonight's feature, is a triad of movies that have been inspired by Star Trek; easy enough you say, but wait, there's more to this than meets the freeeeeeking eye, and so without much ado, here are


Trek Tribute 1: HALLOWEEN (1978)

What it is: 1978 American independent horror film set in the fictional suburban midwestern town of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween. . John Carpenter directed the film, which stars Donald Pleasence as Dr. Sam Loomis, Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode, and Nick Castle, Tony Moran and Tommy Lee Wallace sharing the role of Michael Myers (listed in the credits as "The Shape"). The film centers on Myers' escape from a psychiatric hospital, his murdering of teenagers, and Dr. Loomis' attempts to track and stop him. Halloween is widely regarded as a classic among horror films, and as one of the most influential horror films of its era. In 2006, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Trek Connect: Fanfreeks, will be hard pressed to understand what the connect between this legendary slasher horror film and Star-Trek, and a teeny-weeny-freeky hint, look below..

Captain Kirk

Michael Myers
still don't get it? then continue to read below
Here's the freeking connect my friends, the mask that the psycho-killer Myers wears throughout the movie, is in fact a "Captain Kirk" Halloween mask! (freeky, but true) be sure to check out this detailed blurb on how the art-director actually adapted the Kirk mask for one of the most well known (or masked) killers in movie history!!!

Trek Tribute No. 2: FIGHT CLUB

What it is: Fight Club is a 1999 American feature film adaptation of the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk. The film was directed by David Fincher and follows a nameless protagonist (Edward Norton), an everyman and an unreliable narrator who feels trapped with his white-collar position in society. The narrator gets involved in a fight club with soap salesman Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) and becomes tangled up in a relationship triangle with Durden and a destitute woman, Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter).

At a loss again are we my fellow freeklings? how indeed is this cult hit of a movie, in any manner related to the Star-Trek movie series! The answer (as with most things in life, lies below!!)



Trek Connect: There you have it folks, Captain Kirk, simply was the greatest fighter in all galaxy! having succesfully fought green lizardlike aliens to even his own Vulcan first officer - Spock!

In an thinly veiled tribute to Kirk's reknwoned fighting skills, Edward Norton (the narrator) in Fight Club, expresses a keen desire, to have a one-on-one with him.

check out the dialogue at "2:20" - in the above trailer!!

Trek Tribute 3: Galaxyquest:

What it is: Galaxyquest is a 1999 science fiction / comedy film written by David Howard and Robert Gordon and directed by Dean Parisot; starring Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Daryl Mitchell, Missi Pyle and Justin Long in his feature-film debut.

Trek Connect: The movie is about the washed-up stars of a fictional 1978–1982 TV series called Galaxy Quest, ( anow relegated to book signings and small celebrity appearances, the actors get a new lease on life, when they are approached by actual aliens (who believe the actors to be their actual Galaxy quest counterparts) requesting them to save their alien planet.

Stellar performances by Tim Allen ( as the Captain Kirkesque macho captain), Sigourney Weaver (in a character symoblising all the overtly sexy yet stupid female characters in the star-trek series) and Alan Rickman (as the Spockesque overtly logical alien first officer)

The movie takes potshots not only at the cliches that Star-Trek stood for, but also the insecurities of the leading crew (actors) in allowing the smaller cast (actors) to take forefront in the adventure ( a swipe at Shatner's legendary insecurities in preventing co-actors to have better dailogue/scenes).

All in all, a must watch for any trek - fan worth his phaser!

So there you have it folks, three movies that pay tribute to Trek, albeit with a freekish twist!

extra freeky: for those who cannot get enuff of old JTK's fighting skills, here's a glimpse of his finest punch ups! ahhh sweet jesus!

Movie Review: Star Trek...The Adventure Begins!


Hello, fellow frEEklings!

Following the legendary run of the first Star Trek series (now enjoying its billionth re-run at a local cable channel near you), Gene Rodenberry's sci-fi saga kept being stretched, molded into makes, remakes and increasingly bad motion pictures.

If my cob-webbed memory serves me correctly, the fanboys through several online petitions made it clear, that they only way they would be interested in another Star-Trek spinoff, is if it would involve the shenanigans of the original crew onboard the USS Enterprise, yes. Capt. James T. Kirk and his rag-tag crew.

Few and cherished are those moments, when us fan-freeks get exactly what they ask, and so don your freeksuits one more time and set your phasers to stun as we launch into hyperdrive, to review the revamp of perhaps the greatest sci-fi saga ever (yes, excluding star-wars).

Behind The Scenes: J.J. Abrams, who helms this current revamp of Star-Trek has well established his skill at interweaving terse human drama with thrilling action sequences in outings such as the Alias series, Cloverfield and of course the under-rated Mission Impossible III. Adding further to the fan-frenzy was the addition of Zachary Quinto (of the t.v. series HEROES fame) as Spock - due to his uncanny resemblance to Leonard Nimoy (who played Spock in the original series). The icing cake was the 150 million dollar budget that the studios had shelled out for this flick. Ever since the first trailer leaked on to the net, fan-freeks had been salivating with glee!!

The Plot: If you really haven't heard about Star Trek until now, well umm.. wow!!

The Yaays: Fan-freeks can relax, the series is in safe hands (read: a lot more sequels can be expected!) What really impressed me, are the subtle references that J.J. Abrams makes to the tone and mood of the original 70s star show, from young Kirk's introduction in a vintage (70s style car) to an old industrial setting where we get to see the birth of the USS Enterprise; the movie successfully in rekindling the kitsch that made it so popular in the first place.
Freeks would remember the unabashed racial stereotypes employed in the original series such as the befuddled Scottish engineer conviniently called "Scotty" , now portrayed aptly by funnyman Simon Pegg, the sultry african communications officer "Lt. "Uhura" played ever so sultrily again, by Zoe Saldana. Of particular note, is the otherwise b-movie actor Karl Urban in his portrayal of the neurotic ship's doctor "Bones" McCoy legendary for his quip "I'm a doctor Jim, not a magician!"; Ubran brings a wonderful insanity to this paranoid doctor who accompanies the crew in its myriad expeditions.

Kirk (Chris pine) takes Command!

What particularly stands out is the sizzling chemistry between the cavalier Kirk (Chris Pine) and the zen-like Spock (Zachary Quinto) the two actors are worthy successors to the legendary roles that they have stepped in to fill.
and yes, true-blue Fan-freeks will recognize the sly reference made to Capt Kirk's raging libido (which was one of the running gags in the television series!).

the Naays:
The Battle scenes, in this movie, are of truly inter-galactic proportions, and while that's a good thing (if you're a 15 year old) it take a bit away from the main plot-line, the space-chases, exoplosions and myriad boom-bangs make you appreciate where the largesse of the movie's budget has gone, but you keep wishing for more drama quotient. Also, the time-travelling story-line without giving too much away comes across as a very convenient device to create plot twists - and hopes it is used to limited effect in forthcoming sequels.

Eric Bana - as NERO

Lastly, the previous Star-Trek series have thrown up some worthy villains for our crew to battle, and sadly Nero played by Eric Bana, does not match upto the best of them. But really folks, I am nitpicking here, these are but minor flaws in perhaps the most enjoyable movie of the year so far!

the Verdict:

a solid 4 /5 frEEkies!!! LET THE SPACE OPERA BEGIN!!


Related Posts with Thumbnails