I’m Impressed With Millie Bobby Brown’s Personal Brand Management

by Shelt Garner

I don’t think I’m being too jaded to point out that all these pictures we’re seeing of Millie Bobby Brown on vacation in rather modest bikinis is part of her soft transition to adult hood. Unlike many young starlets who freaked the fuck out once they were 18, she’s figured out a way to change people’s perception of her while simply wearing bikinis.

Millie Bobby Brown

She must have known the paps would take pictures of her and, as such, she wore the bikinis she wore simply to get adults to think of her as, well, an adult. Now that everyone has seen her in a bikini, casting directors are probably going to be a lot more open to putting her in more mature roles.

Which, of course, makes me think of Taylor Swift and how she HASN’T managed herself as well. While she’s occasionally wore more provocative clothing, Tay-Tay showing some T&A for a movie role would make her fanbase melt down into hysterics. Even though both she and they are no longer children anymore. Hollywood is an industry and, as such, if Tay-Tay wants bigger mainstream roles, she might have to – gasp — show a little bit more skin than her fanbase is accustomed to seeing.

But back to Ms. Brown.

She has excellent management, is all I gotta say. She’s always worn more adult clothing — sometimes to the point that I have found myself cringing — and now she’s very much in the position to become just another big name Hollywood star without going through that weird transitional phase that has haunted other young starlets.

What Are They Up To With The New Indiana Jones Movie?

by Shelt Garner

It has been pretty obvious the last few Indiana Jones movies that they REALLY want to transition to a new actor as the central figure in the franchise. Harrison Ford is old and there’s going to come a point when if they’re going to continue with the movies someone is going to have take his place.

The New Indy?

And, yet, there’s a problem — the Indiana Jones franchise is very beloved and everyone thinks of Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones when they think of “Indiana Jones.” So, they have to think of some way to keep going without him.

I heard a stray remark somewhere that the next Indy movie is about time travel. And given that Phoebe Waller-Bridge is involved it seems possible….that they might literally make her Indiana Jones via time travel? Maybe some sort of multiverse event happens and Indy is a girl instead of a boy at birth. Then our universe Indy meets this new version of himself in the past and not only does hilarity ensues but there’s a way for them to keep the brand name.

Of course there would be a huge uproar amongst conservatives at such an offense, but, lulz, there’s money to be made. And there are worst things to happen than to have Phoebe Waller-Bridge play a female Indy in a few movies. Though I still think she needs to play Dr. Susan Calvin, robot psychiatrist. She’s perfect for that role.

Anyway, this is all very much speculation. But something’s gotta happen unless they’re going to start using de-aging and deep fake technology to put Harrison Ford’s face on some other actor’s body. Strange things have happened in movies, I suppose.

Noodling With A Scifi Concept

by Shelt Garner

I have a fairly decent scifi concept I need to do something with. It flips the script of almost all established scifi tropes. It springs from a scifi scenario I’ve been struggling with for about 10 years. I call it the “Impossible Scenario” because it’s well, impossible to figure out.

But I’ve come us with a version of a solution that still has enough problems with it to generate a plot (problems = conflict = plot.) Anyway, the plot would, in a sense, be a lot like The Last Star Fighter. Sorta. That would sort be the vibe to it.

A video game would be involved, but instead of 80s arcade game, a 2022 strategy game would be involved.

Anyway, I have five novels to work on. This idea is going to, for the time being, continue to be something that rolls around in my mind when I’m bored and struggling for something to think about to fill existential dread. But I’m a lot closer to getting to the point where I could write a short story or something that would deal with a subset of the concept.

One reason why it’s so enticing is you could definitely use it as the basis for a “Don’t Look Up” kind of screenplay. But what I have in mind would not be as silly as that movie was. It would use the concept I’ve come up with as a way to address how divided we are and how even if aliens presented us with an amazing opportunity we would STILL somehow manage to shoot ourselves in the foot.

Why Do So Many Authors Love ‘Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind?’

by Shelt Garner

If I had any clout, I would answer this question and try to sell the piece to someone like New York Magazine or Vox. But, alas, I don’t have any clout and I’m big old nobody.

But I am an aspiring novelist, if nothing else, and so here’s my own off-the-cuff explanation for why I love ESoTSM so much.

For me, it’s about how well written and well thought out the movie is. And, I think, writers really identify with an element of the movie that isn’t even show in the shot script — Clementine writes a huge novel about Joel. So, in a sense, it’s not Clementine who is the muse, it’s Joel.

And writers identify with how one love can really throw you for a loop and inspire you to do great things while at the same time tearing you up in the process.

There’s a lot more I could probably write if I was being paid to answer this particular question. But I still have two years until the 20th anniversary. Maybe my fortunes will change by that point.

Of Nepotism Babies & Industry Plants: The Hardest Part Of Getting Into Showbizness — Is Getting Into Showbizness

by Shelt Garner

It is an open secret in Hollywood that the vast majority of new people in showbizness have some sort of pre-existing connection to the industry. It’s vey rare for someone to just come out of the blue and become a success.

And I honestly can not think of any solution to this.

The reason is — the entire industry is designed to stop aspiring artists of various sorts from getting in. You have to fight and fight and fight to get that big break and sometimes even then things don’t work out. In short, it’s rare that someone has a such a unique talent (whatever it may be) that they break in without some help.

As such, 90% of making it big in showbiz is having some connection to Hollywood in the first place. That’s it. If you are related to someone with Hollywood ties or whatever, you don’t need all that much actual talent because the hard part is gotten past.

Or, put another way, life is unfair. A lot of what determines if you’re going to be success in something like showbiz is determined well before your birth. Either you whine about this or you figure out what you’re good and try to break into your industry of choice through simple hard work and luck.

(Spoiler Free) The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of ‘Everything, Everywhere, All At Once’

by Shelt Garner

It’s times like these that I find myself questioning my sanity. For me to dislike so much of Everything, Everywhere, All At Once (EEAAO) and so many other people love it with a white hot intensity really makes me wonder what could be going on. So, let’s review what I liked, disliked and hated about this movie.

The Good
There’s a lot to like about this movie. I found the acting by Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan outstanding. They really stood out in this otherwise mess of a movie. And I also liked the Michel Gondry magical realism elements of the movie a great deal. I went in thinking this would be a lot like The Science of Sleep and, in its own way, it was.

The Bad
There was just way, way, way too much going on with this movie. It just did not know what it wanted to be. When you have all this dialogue that requires an extended zany kung fu scene to pause and have everyone just stare as it’s said — you have a problem. And I’m fully willing to admit that maybe some of this is I just don’t really have any interest in kung fu. I found that part of this movie a distraction to the part that I wanted to see — character and plot.

The Ugly
I really hated who the villain was. All of that was just horrible. It seemed way too much on the nose for my liking. You mean you couldn’t think of any one else to be the villain but that person? What the what?

Anyway, here’s the movie I would have enjoyed: a middle aged Asian woman saves up the money to gain access to Lacuna-like technology that, rather than erasing your memory, gives you easy access to different realities and different fates you might have gone down. The story would focus on strictly on her relationship to her husband and daughter and there wouldn’t be a the dumb multiverse villain angle and far less need for kung fu. It would be seen as a direct spiritual successor to The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and it would be, in my opinion a good to great movie.

As it is, Everything, Everywhere, All At Once was a severe missed opportunity.

Well, That Happened

by Shelt Garner

This is an instance where I don’t know what the fuck is going on. I went into the movie “Everything, Everywhere All At Once” with extremely high hopes. There was white hot buzz about the movie on Tik-Tok and I watched the movie as soon as possible so I could go into it knowing as little as possible about it.

Now that I’ve seen it, I’m very confused.

I won’t say I fucking hated it like I did Booksmart, but I was extremely bored for most of it. It’s not that there wasn’t a lot going on that was interesting — there was — but I didn’t have any emotional attachment to the characters until way, way, way into the movie.

And, even then, it was the elements of the movie that could have been an entire movie until itself. I found the movie very muddled and so peripatetic as to be overwhelming.

There was so much going on that there wasn’t much time to establish characters or to make you — or at least ME — care. There was all this bouncing around going on and just kept rolling my eyes, thinking, “So what?”

Having said all that, I could definitely see how the movie could be very influential and be part of a broader “vibe shift” in American pop culture. But nothing about that movie was so good as to warrant it all the glowing praise on Tik-Tok. Nothing. The movie was not nearly that good.

I’m so annoyed with how bad Tik-Tok is at reviewing movies, I think I’m going to lay off using it for a while. I feel suckered. I struggle to figure out what the Tik-Tok reviewers saw that I didn’t and vis-versa.

There were elements of the third act that were pretty strong. And, like I said, you could have cut those elements out of the movie and made a separate, stronger movie with them. But there was just too much going on with this movie.

Was it a kung-fu movie, a scifi movie, a fantasy movie or a movie about the family bonds of immigrants? If the screenwriter had just picked one or two of those elements, the movie would have been much, much better. There was a great movie lurking somewhere in EEAAO, but what I saw wasn’t it.

It was long and irritating.

But I guess I could see how someone younger than me, who had different expectations, might like it a lot. I guess?

The Popularization of The Multiverse Concept Opens Up A Lot Of Storytelling Possibilities

by Shelt Garner

The “multiverse” is having a moment, it seems. I’ve toyed with multiverse concepts my entire life and, as such, I think now that audiences have been exposed to what it all means you could do a lot with it in storytelling.

The chief place to start is a revamping of the time traveler trope. The novel that really got me interested in the multiverse was James Hogan’s “The Prometheus Operation.” It’s all about the butterfly effect, the multiverse and time travel. (It would, come to think of it, make a good movie.)

Anyway, here’s what I’m talking about. To date, almost all time travel stories have a fatal flaw — the basic paradox associated with it all. A few movies, like the Back To The Future sequels actually use the multiverse concept well…but the overall application was kind of meh.

What I would do is make a drama about a man (or woman) who finds themselves sent back in time Back To The Future style, but it’s a different timeline in the multiverse so none of the paradoxes apply. It’s not campy like what we saw in the Back To Future franchise, but far more like Arrival or The Martian. We get a serious depiction of what happens when you have knowledge of the future without having to worry about the paradox.

The movie I want to see goes something like this — somehow, a man gets zapped back in time to, say, VJ Day 1945. We see how he changes history over the course of the decades. The story is something of a mystery and ends with a DNA test that proves the impossible — the man who was our time traveler’s assistant all those years was his father.

Or something like that.

That’s the type of time traveler story I want to see.

Another multiverse and timetravel concept would be “Star Wars meets timetravel.” Instead of your heroes zooming around space, they zoom around time. So, you have all these different eras smash into each other in interesting ways. Or, if you wanted to be a little less complex, there would be no timetravel, just multiverse.

We learn that there is a “multiverse empire” and a band of “rebels” who bounce around different alternative universes looking for booty.

Anyway, no one listens to me and no one cares. But I find the multiverse endlessly entertaining.

We’re Overdue For A Culture ‘Vibe Shift’

by Shelt Garner

It feels like on a certain level that American pop culture is stuck on the morning of Sept 12, 2001. There have been gradual “vibe shifts” now and again over the last 20 years, but for some reason the last two decades have been rather meh on the pop culture front.

As I’ve written before, the 80s were so rambunctious that the early 80s were very, very different from the late 80s. But in real terms, American pop culture is still in a hazy-post 9/11 world. Superhero movies are huge. There really hasn’t been an technological advancement since the advent of the iPhone. And, for all intents and purposes, pop culture is rather bland.

Now, I don’t know how much of that is just I’m old and grumpy and how much of that is real. But it definitely feels as though American pop culture is ripe for a dramatic shift of some sort.

Of course, it’s possible that all of this will be very moot starting 2025 when we we either have a civil war or slip peacefully into autocracy. That’s something we really have to keep in the back of our minds going forward. But it is possible that between now and then popular tastes will change.

And the way we’ll know it’s happened is when a comedy or a war movie or whatever that was released without any fanfare becomes huge out of the blue and Hollywood (and pop culture) turns on a dime and embraces the new the cultural zeitgeist.

But, like I said, it could be that I’m just old. It could be that pop tastes have changed for good and this is just the new normal we have to live in.

Sometimes, You Have To Wonder

by Shelt Garner

Recently, I’ve noticed just a minor uptick in my Webstats coming from Los Angeles. The views are specifically for my continued ranting about the prospect of a civil war (or autocracy) in the United States starting around 2024 – 2025. It’s my impression that there is a movie in development called — you guessed it “Civil War” that deals with some sort of Second American Civil War.

It’s quite pleasant to let myself be delusional and imagine that the screenwriter for that movie might be using my dystopian ranting to help flesh out their script. That would be pretty wild, in fact.

But I am known to take a tiny bit of information and run with it in some pretty fantastical ways. So, lulz.