Summer Shorts: Star Wars: Pink Five

13-Aug-10 11:00 AM by
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Spoofing Star Wars never seems to go out of style. From RiffTrax to Robot Chicken to Family Guy, many artists have used this theme for more than just an independent one-off, making it a continuing commercial venture.

But few have the history or duration of Pink Five, which debuted as far back as 2002 with sequels appearing in 2004 and 2006. This independent fan series presents an alternative perspective on the events of the original Star Wars trilogy (episodes IV–VI). Paralleling the well-known tale of a rebellious young moisture farmer, the audience instead follows a dim-witted but obstinate Valley girl. It may sound annoying as all heck, but stick with it, as the writing is actually quite clever — her landing on Dagobah will have you laughing out loud. The character even proved popular enough to have a cameo in the official Star Wars expanded universe. The shorts' special effects are also inspired, their many subtle touches effectively inserting our heroine into George Lucas' universe.

The official versions of all four shorts don't load as quickly as your typical YouTube video so are included after the break.

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RiffTrax on TRON: It's Hard to Overstate My Satisfaction

22-May-09 1:03 PM by
Filed under Films; 1 comment.

I love TRON. I love RiffTrax. Combine the two, and I'm in heaven.

I was witness to this union five years ago at a now-defunct local arthouse cinema, when comedian Chris Hanel and his troupe arrived for a live riffing of the film, MST3K-style. Just a few years later, RiffTrax was born, and then iRiffs, allowing independent parties to publish their riffs. So Hanel & Co. dusted off their script, brought it up to date, and published the first TRON iRiff:

If there's one thing I love as much as movies, it's video games. well before I actually played the Xbox 360 game Portal, I was enamoured with its end credits song, masterfully written by Jonathan Coulton. It's an admiration I share with Bill Corbett, who actually performed on stage with Jonathan, Paul, and Storm one lucky night last year.

That talent was recently reunited when Bill invited the musicians to the RiffTrax studios:

The end product of this grueling training: yet another riff on TRON!

I'm such a fan of Jonathan Coulton and his many varied works that I was a bit surprised to not find his RiffTrax sample as amusing as Hanel's iRiff — but it's hard to judge a 90-minute project on just a two-minute cut. One can never have too much TRON paraphernalia, so both groups will be getting my financial endorsement, regardless. Look for the final release of the Coulton riff on May 26.

(Hat tip to Satellite News)

Pink Five FX

05-Sep-07 4:38 PM by
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Over on Chris Hanel's blog is a nifty video showing before, during, after shots of one of the Star Wars fan films known as Pink Five. The montage shows what a difference a green screen and some hard work can make on independent films, and how much talent went into this particular one.



Quarterly Review

08-Aug-07 2:45 PM by
Filed under Films, Star Trek; 3 comments.

The June/July issue of Geek Monthly has a cover story on what a great year 1982 was for geeks. We may not have noticed it at the time, but it is astonishing what a plethora of great sci-fi films came out all in that one year. Unfortunately, some of these films I did not see upon their initial release, and some are not as great today as they were 25 years ago. Nonetheless, here in brief is my rundown of their list:

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Considered "the zenith of the Trek feature films", I agree this film began the even-numbered successes that persisted until Nemesis. The tie-in to the original series, Ricardo Montalban as the villain, and the ending were all fantastic facets… but for all that, I still think I prefer the more lighthearted The Voyage Home.

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