Tag-Archive for » humour «

Airplane! vs. Zero Hour!

There are probably few of you that didn’t realise this, but 1980’s Airplane! was not just a spoof of Airport-style disaster dramas, but a very specific satirical retelling of 1957’s Zero Hour!

The producers of Airplane! actually bought the rights to Zero Hour! so that scenes and lines of dialogue could be lifted wholesale, then sold the rights once production was finished and the satire was released.

CANADIAN CONTENT WARNING: Interestingly enough, Zero Hour! was itself a retooling of Arthur Hailey’s story Flight into Danger, televised in 1956 by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (and starring James Doohan, later to find fame with Star Trek).

The astute viewer will note that Zero Hour‘s main protagonist, Ted Striker, is actually a Canadian, and he is travelling within Canada (from Montréal to Vancouver) aboard a fictional Canadian airline. There are subtle nods to this throughout the film—characters speak about a Toronto Argonauts football game, the air traffic control stations are all Canadian cities, and the DC-4 aircraft even carries an appropriate Canadian registry (beginning with C-F).

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News you can use

…from the world of cinema, via Cracked magazine.

  • Good news! A zombie outbreak would fail without a whole lot of effort and toil. Zombie ecology renders them more or less designed to fail:

    …Their main form of reproduction is also their only source of food and their top predator. If they want to eat or reproduce, they have to go toe to toe with their number one predator every single time. That’s like having to fight a lion every time you to want to have sex or make a sandwich. Actually, it’s worse than that: Most top predators are only armed with teeth and claws, meaning they have to put themselves in harm’s way to score a kill. Humans have rifles. The zombies have no choice but to walk into bullets.

    — Dietle, David.  “7 Scientific Reasons a Zombie Outbreak Would Fail (Quickly).” Cracked.com, 17 August 2010.

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark was a brilliant movie when I saw it as a kid, but in the light of adult reflection, its plot made no sense whatsoever. This and five other films could have had their plot lines solved in a couple of minutes, at best.

    Instead of stealing and re-stealing the Ark from the Nazis, Indiana Jones and the U.S. Army should have been rooting for them to find it. Their best case scenario is that the Nazis mission goes exactly according to plan: find it, ship it off to Germany and open it in a lavish pageant in Berlin with the whole Nazi high command in attendance. That was what they had planned to do all along. All the top Nazis in Berlin, including Hitler, front and center at the grand opening of a device that has a reputation for melting the faces of anyone in its vicinity.

    It’d not only be the end of the movie, but of the whole damned war.

    — della Quercia, Jacopo.  “6 Movie Plots That Could Have Been Solved In Minutes.” Cracked.com, 11 August 2010.

    Amen to that.

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The price of greatness is responsibility

One cannot help but chuckle all the way through this post by Chris Manno (a.k.a. Jethead).

Yeah, it’s all about the four stripes. A lot of stuff changes the day you put them on.

Sure, there’s the instant recognition from coworkers. They know the reality behind the symbols of authority and reflect that in their very manner. That’s the outward effect. Inward? Well, you know you’ve arrived.

…You have to be confident to earn the respect of the Cabin crew, plus that of your fellow pilots, who are secretly happy about the fact that you have the four stripes, not them, although they do love to kid around. Never mind that it could be–SHOULD BE–them in the left seat now occupied by your sorry lard ass, no one’s bitter.

— “Airline Captain: It’s all about the prestige.”  JetHead, 18 February 2010.

The closing image and caption are not to be missed.

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Steve Jobs says Google’s “don’t be evil” ethos is bullshit

I love it when nerd icons start sticking pins in the competition.

At a town hall event following the iPad announcement, Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the time to kick Adobe and Google in the shins.  I get a chuckle out of his calling Google’s do-no-evil mantra “bullshit”.

I happen to think he’s correct, if only because Google has already demonstrated that it’s willing to compromise its first principles in pursuit of more moolah.  This is no surprise; individuals and companies make that tradeoff all the time.  But most are smart enough not to publicly pretend otherwise.

Jobs trying to unmask Google is particularly entertaining, though, since it’s coming from a guy whose outfit gets perverse pleasure out of locking in users with long term contracts, non-open interfaces, and overpriced peripherals using proprietary connectors.  Pot, kettle and all that.

One of those conflicts where you’d like to see both parties lose.

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Learn to Dance: Riverdance

I was never a big fan of “Irish dancing”, but I am little awestruck by Fintan Maher’s raw talent in an art form he has never previously studied.  Here he demonstrates how a talented amateur can pull off a Michael Flatley routine in front of an audience.

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Learn to Dance: Lady Gaga—Bad Romance

Your correspondent was blessed by Nature with the rhythm and raw dancing talent of a blindfolded, epileptic bull in a china shop.  But I can nonetheless appreciate the grace and skill required for others to execute complex choreography; so to this end the Company will serve up an occasional series of dance lessons.  Today’s lesson is fellow Canuck Laurie Ann Gibson‘s cheoreography for Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”, with guest performer Po, of the Teletubbies.

Also a highly faithful rendition by the very talented dancer, teacher, choreographer and law student Marissa Montanez:

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