Thursday, August 27, 2015
The whole planet is in love with Disney/Pixar's cinematographic masterpiece INSIDE/OUT. Compelling, thought-provoking...but still really funny...it has raked in $700 million in worldwide box office receipts. Rotten Tomatoes critics gave the flick a 98/100 rating. However, the audience score on the same site was only 90. Why the dispartity? People cannot stand BING BONG. He's a goofy pink elephant made of cotton candy. In addition to plot development, he is also intended to provide comic relief. The only problem? BING BONG is not funny. In fact, many good movies are torpedoed by including such obviously unfunny characters. Here's our TOP TEN:
#10. BING BONG. While it's easy to single out this pink elephant (made of cotton candy) the concept of a comic sidekick isn't exactly new to the year 2015. One of the first botched unfunny comedic characters comes to us from Shakespeare. Lancelot the Clown managed to ruin just about every scene of The Merchant of Venice that he appears in.
#8. EWOKS. Like Bubo, the executive producers of the Star Wars franchise also wanted to add something to their films for kids. They dreamed up the Ewoks. Half Winnie-the-Pooh and half-Ninja warrior, these adorably tough muppets did a spectacular job ruining Return of the Jedi for everyone. Even today...when watching the movie on DVD...children and adults turn off the TV the instant the Ewoks appear.
#6. RUBY RHOD. Perhaps Bruce Willis' coolest role was Korben Dallas, the flying taxi-cab driver in the Science Fiction epic The Fifth Element. Everything clicked in this movie until Ruby Rhod, the fast-talking space talk show host, joined the crew. Instead of an intriguing, futuristic hunt for moon rocks, audiences were subjected to Chris Tucker going on seemingly endless rants about nothing. Not funny.
#4. SHORT ROUND. Everyone was excited for the sequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark. Unfortunately, Steven Spielberg was given control of the casting and ruined the movie. First, he cast his wife, Kate Capshaw, as the female lead. All she did was scream. But the real mistake was the introduction of an 11-year old boy, Short Round. No one could figure out why Indiana Jones was hanging out with an obnoixous kid.
#2. SCRAPPY-DOO. After a dismal Season Four, the birth of Little Ricky sent the ratings for I Love Lucy soaring through the roof. Since then, Hollywood often inserts children into movie and TV series to bring life to the show. Meet Scrappy-Doo. He is Scooby-Doo's long lost nephew who magically appeared in 1979 and destroyed a beloved cartoon. Just because he shouts "Puppy Power" and taunts much larger foes with "Lemme at 'em!" doesn't mean we will instantly love him.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
October 9th, 1952 was a glorious day for World Peace. The grand opening of the United Nations complex occurred on the East River in New York City. Colorful flags, alphabetically representing each of the 165 member-states gave way to the beautiful Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza. Here, proud fountains greeted visitors to the Grand Assembly Room and the massive 39-story Secretariat Tower. Diplomats, Royalty, Presidents and Prime Ministers alike crowded into the square for the Ribbon Cutting.
A lot has changed in the 63 years since. The once proud square is now filled with different type of people: The Homeless. Dozens of displaced folks now occupy the park benches. They bathe in the same fountain. "It's very shocking to see." noted Dogu Gnahore, the Ivory Coast UN ambassador. This from a nation whose GNP ranks 182nd out of 194 members. "We have homelessness in the Gambia" Alieu Samba noted. "But at least the social network is strong there and people are not as desperate."
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Finally, some good new from the Middle East! While ISIS may continue to ravage parts of Northern Iraq, Syria and Tunisian beach resorts, the remaining 95% of Arab-speaking lands are actually enjoying fairly robust economic times. And nowhere was this more apparent than in Egypt. In fact, last Thursday was declared a National Holiday to celebrate an event 146 years in the making: The Grand Opening of the Second Suez Canal.
The old adage "The More Things Change.. The More They Stay The Same" is true. Even today, 93% of the world's trade is carried over oceans and seas, and the majority still goes from Asia to Europe. Only the cargo has changed. iPads and Smart-Phones have replaced spices and tea. Yet the routes are exactly the same and the Suez has been crowded for 150 years. Ships still queue up on both ends of the Suez Canal, waiting to pass through. Since the French canal isn't very wide, only one craft can travel in one direction. Once in, it's also slow going. Speeds average 7 KMP, as it takes 21 hours to sail 160 kilometers.
Thursday, August 6, 2015
Tragedy occurred in a South Philadelphia neighborhood earlier this week. HitchBOT, the Hitch-hiking Robot was found decapitated in a grungy alleyway. Social Media is outraged. (But then again...when isn't Social Media outraged!?) At any rate, we here at the DUNER BLOG did some research and can now answer your FAQ's:
The creators in Canada have yet to comment...