Monday, June 30, 2014

Stage Center, Goodbye Old Friend

Demolition begins this week on one of the most iconic buildings in Oklahoma City: Stage Center.

The Internationally acclaimed structure opened in 1970, but city leaders hated it from the beginning.

While welcomed by architects across the globe, Oklahoma City has wanted to get rid of it for more than 40 years.

You might ask why a fan of sci-fi, fantasy and geek culture is writing about this.

Well, I have also been a theatre geek nearly all my life as well.

My father performed in Stage Center in its earliest days.

I performed in Macbeth in 1995 and in the Oklahoma centennial production of Grapes of Wrath in 2007 with Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park.

I have also seen countless plays there for O.S.P., Carpenter Square and other companies.

I fell in love with the building's unique design  very early on and loved going to visit.

I was hoping someday to be able to take my childrn or their children to the building and talk about how I and my father performed there.

Now I'll just point to some corporate OG&E Building and have them imagine a cool place that used to be there.

So long, Stage Center, we will never see your like again.

Certainly not in Oklahoma City!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Happy Birthday. Batman

While Batman in comics celebrates 75 years next month, this week fans of The Bat are celebrating 25 years since Michael Keaton donned the cowl.

While most enjoyed the film, I had major issues with the interpretation of the caped crusader. 

There were some good aspects of the film, such as the performance from the two stars,  Keaton and Jack Nicholson's Joker. 

Also, the soundtrack by Danny Elfman was amazing. 

Elfman was really finding his groove in the late 80s/early 90s with films like Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice and, of course, the Nightmare Before Christmas

Now for the not so good.

There were bothersome continuity issues in the film such as Joker, and not Joe Chill, murdering Bruce's parents and the death of Joker at the end.

But my biggest concern was the Batsuit. 

When Tim Burton decided to make the movie he designed the character off of Frank Miller's classic The Dark Knight Returns. 

Unfortunately, this meant putting our hero in a big rubber suit. 

Gone were any acrobatics because he could barely move in the thing.

And if bad guys were shooting at him, the suit just deflected the bullets rather than dodging them. 

The rubber bat suit ended up getting goofier and goofier until some genius decided to add nipples.

Even the latests incarnation of Batman with Christian Bale kept him in that bulky, rubber suit. 

Tim Burton's Batman can be considered a classic. 

But, I'm hoping the next version of the World's Greatest Detective produces a costume closer to the tights worn in the comics saving the rubber for the batmobile's tires. 

So what do you think of the 1989 Batman? Let me know in the comments. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Geeky Father's Day

A happy Father's Day to all dads out there!

When talking about father figures in pop culture everyone always thinks of the worst example: Darth Vader.

But, there are some great dads in pop culture.

Jor-El, the father of Superman, sent his son to Earth to save him from the destruction of their planet never knowing what his eventual fate would be.

Not to forget, Jonathan Kent, who raised the most powerful being on Earth to be kind, caring and gentle.

In the Star Wars Legends series, Luke Skywalker teaches his son, Ben, not just how to be a good Jedi, but also a good man.

In the world of Star Trek, there's the father of Captain Jim Kirk, George Samuel Kirk, who in the new timeline sacrificed himself for his wife and son.

Even in the old timeline, he was a great federation officer who raised a strong son.

There's also Mr. Incredible from Pixar's The Incredibles.

The scene where he admits he's not strong enough to lose his family again is so incredibly moving.

Of course we should never forget the men who chose to be father figures to the children who might not be biologically their own like Charles Xavier.

There's also Uncle Ben who raised Peter Parker, Bilbo Baggins who raised his nephew Frodo and Alfred Pennyworth who raised Bruce Wayne after Bruce's parents were murdered.

And finally there's my own father who raised me to be the man I am today.

I have vivid memories of seeing Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi with him.

He also took me to Flash Gordon and Highlander although I don't think he cared for those movies as much as I did.

My father also read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to me when I was a boy.

He helped me realize that I could be passionate about the things I care about regardless of what others think.

A value I hope I am passing on to my own children.

So who are your favorite Pop Culture dads? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Search for the Worst Star Trek episodes

I have decided to begin a new quest.

The thing is, I've recently been watching random Star Trek episodes on Netflix including some which I am led to believe are not so good.

I have seen every episode of Star Trek (not including the animated series).

Most of them I saw when they originally aired and haven't seen them since.

But, as I go back and watch Star Trek I am starting to believe that even the worst episodes in the franchise are better than anything else on television right now.

Yep, I just went there.

So I'm asking you to prove me wrong.

I want to find out what you think might constitute the worst episodes of Star Trek to review right here on Okie Geek!

I need suggestions on the worst episodes from each of the five series: The Original Series (TOS), The Next Generation (TNG), Deep Space Nine (DS9), Voyager (Voy) and Enterprise (ENT).

For sanity's sake don't send suggestions on The Animated Series which frankly only had one decent episode, Yesteryear.

Also, let's avoid the feature films for now.

So please leave your suggestions in the comments or you can tweet me @OkieGeekBlog or email

Friday, June 6, 2014

Stop Doing Origin Stories in Movies

First off, I am not against origin stories in general especially for new characters no one knows.

For example, late next month, Scarlett Johansson has an awesome looking movie called Lucy.

(If you haven't seen the trailer, your should)

I don't know anything about this character so an origin story is a good idea.

My beef stems from origin stories of established characters.

I am sick of sitting through stories of how Batman's parents died or how Spider-man got bit by a, well, spider, obviously.

We all know the stories.

It's actually just lazy writing, and most writers know that so they try to add new and unusual elements to be clever.

Case in point: Man of Steel.

The story of superman is simple: Krypton is dying, Jor-El and his wife, Lara, know this and send their son Kal-El to Earth to save him where he's raised by John and Martha Kent.

There is no reason to change this, but the writer of Man of Steel decided to add some stuff about cloning and natural birth that just becomes ridiculous.

When it comes to comic book reboots, just tell a new story.

I don't need another retelling of how it all started.

Next I want to talk about the upcoming Star Wars Spin-Offs.

We are being told two of them will focus on Boba Fett and Han Solo.

There are people speculating that these will be origin stories, and I am hoping that's not the case.

I don't want to know the origin story of how Boba Fett became a bounty hunter, I want to see Boba Fett being a wicked awesome bounty hunter!!!

Same goes with Han.

Don't tell me how he became a smuggler, show me a great adventure with him and Chewie running from and outwitting the Empire.

We don't know the subject matters of the new movies, but I do know it shouldn't be about their origins.

What are your most or least favorite origin stories in movies? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Why "Highlander" Should be Remade

The other day I came across a website talking about older movies which could someday see a remake.

One on the list was the 1986 Classic Highlander starring Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery.

I have been an advocate for a remake of this movie for several years now especially with the advent of computer generated special effects.

And my call for a remake has nothing to do with my love for the original.

There are so many great things about Highlander not the least of which comes from director Russell Mulcahy.

His blended dissolves from one time period to the next were amazing and the opening shot in Madison Square Garden should be taught in every film class.

FYI, Mulcahy was also the director of several classic Duran Duran videos which were some of the most amazing.

The story itself is amazing: a group of immortals fighting each other to eventually win some unknown prize!


And, while controversial, I do enjoy the music from Queen.

I especially loved the song "Who Wants to Live Forever", and the scene where Heather comes over the hill having aged while Connor stayed young.

But the casting left a lot to be desired such as Lambert with his French accent playing the Highlander while Sean Connery who is actually from Scotland played a Spanish Egyptian.

Also, the ending was kind of a downer.

He gets to be mortal and can read everyone's thoughts?

Sounds a bit boring to me.

It's probably a good thing the Kurgan didn't win in the end, because I don't think he would have been happy with that prize at all.

He probably would have been even more of a douchebag than normal.

A better ending would have been MacLeod becoming more of like a benevolent all-powerful watcher over the earth like the Dave Bowman baby at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

And again there are the special effects.

While great for the time, in retrospect they're obviously just cartoons.

Can you imagine what the quickening could look like with today's movie magic?

So again Highlander was a great film, but I think it's time to bring it into the 21st century.


So what old movies do you think should be remade? Let me know in the comments!