Archive for May 25th, 2013

25
May
13

the north american yf-100, the 60th anniversary of her first flight.

NA YF-100

 YF-100

Today is a milestone in aviation history with the first flight of North Americans YF-100 from Edwards Air Force Base…

The YF-100A first flew on 25 May 1953, seven months ahead of schedule. It reached Mach 1.05 in spite of being fitted with a de-rated XJ57-P-7 engine. The second prototype flew on 14 October 1953, followed by the first production F-100A on 9 October 1953. The USAF operational evaluation from November 1953 to December 1955 found the new fighter to have superior performance but declared it not ready for widescale deployment due to various deficiencies in the design.

A wicked looking fighter and this was one of my first model kits that I built as a kid.

Advertisements
25
May
13

it came from outer space, the 60th anniversarry.

poster

poster

Return of the Jedi is not the only movie celebrating an Anniversary today.. Lets go back 60 years to the date of May the 25th 1953. Universal releases one of it’s first big sci-fi films. “It Came from Outer Space”  The film is directed by the incredible Jack Arnold who brought us the creature from the Black Lagoon in 1954, Tarantula in 1955, and Was a big contributor to the early episodes of Gilligan’s Island. This movie is very unique in the fact that it was based on a Ray Bradbury story and is played off very seriously in it’s tone and visual style. The monster a hideous ethereal creature that we both see as it terrorizes it’s victims as well as from it’s liquidy point of view. This is an early alien invasion masterpiece that set the stage for more of it’s kind to follow. Lots of fun and I highly recommend it if you have not already.. below are some plot and production notes from Wikipedia.

PLOT

An Author and amateur astronomer John Putnam (Carlson) and schoolteacher Ellen Fields (Rush) watch a meteorite crash near the small town of Sand Rock, Arizona. After visiting the crash site, John notices a strange object in the crater and believes that it wasn’t a meteorite that crashed after all, but an alien spaceship. After a landslide covers the mysterious craft, John’s story is ridiculed by the townspeople, sheriff (Drake), and local media.

Even Ellen is unsure of what to believe, but agrees to assist John in his investigation. Over the next several days, a number of local people disappear. A few return but they seem distant and dazed. Eventually, Sheriff Warren becomes convinced that a meteorite wasn’t involved and he organizes a posse to hunt down the invaders. Alone, John hopes to reach a peaceful solution, so he goes into a mine which he hopes will lead him to the buried spacecraft and its occupants.

It transpires that the aliens are benign beings whose spacecraft crashed because of malfunctioning components. They planned to stay on Earth just long enough to replace the parts, and then to continue their voyage. Whilst the aliens true appearance resembles a large one-eyed jelly-like being that glides over the ground, leaving a glistening trail, they are also able to shape shift. To allow themselves to move freely in human society to collect the parts they need to repair their ship, they subsequently kidnap and take the form of some of the local townspeople. However, they are unable to reproduce the townspeople’s personalities, leading to suspicion, and eventually the deaths of two of the alien crew members. After John Putnam manages to seal them off in an abandoned mine to protect them from the advancing posse, and to give them time to repair their ship, they do so and leave, but not before releasing all of the missing townspeople unharmed.

production

The screenplay was by Harry Essex, with input by Jack Arnold, and was derived from an original screen treatment by Ray Bradbury (although it is said Ray Bradbury wrote the original screenplay and Harry Essex merely changed the dialogue and took the credit).[2] Unusual among sci-fi films of the day, the alien “invaders” were portrayed as creatures without malicious intent. The film has been interpreted[who?] as a metaphorical refutation of supposedly xenophobic attitudes and ideology of the Cold War.

“I wanted to treat the invaders as beings who were not dangerous, and that was very unusual”, Bradbury said. He offered two outlines to the studio, one with malicious aliens, the other with benign aliens. “The studio picked the right concept, and I stayed on.”[3] He has called the movie “a good film. Some parts of it are quite nice.”[4]

In 2004, Bradbury published four versions of his screen treatment for the movie as a single volume, It Came From Outer Space.

The uncredited music in the film was by Irving Gertz, Henry Mancini, and Herman Stein.

The Universal make-up department submitted two alien designs for consideration by the studio executives. The design that was rejected was saved and then later used as the Metaluna Mutant in Universal’s This Island Earth (1955). The special effects created for the spacecraft in flight consisted of a wire-mounted iron ball, with hollowed out ‘windows’, and ignited magnesium inside. The Arizona setting and the telephone lineman occupation of two of the characters are elements from Bradbury’s younger life, when his father moved the family to Tucson.

Urban legend has it that an extra in an army corporal’s uniform at the “meteor” crash site is comedy writer-performer Morey Amsterdam. While the briefly glimpsed man does indeed resemble Amsterdam, no hard evidence (e.g., cast call bureau records, interviews with Amsterdam) has ever confirmed it is actually him. The most recent of Universal’s 2002 DVD release of the movie comes with a documentary, “The Universe According to Universal,” written and directed by David J. Skal, and an audio commentary by Tom Weaver, in which Weaver also notes the similarity of Morey Amsterdam.

the discovery of the space ship

the discovery of the space ship

the creature

the creature

when in trouble with aliens, call the cowboys

when in trouble with aliens, call the cowboys

it's the professor,,, Russell Johnson in one of his early roles

it’s the professor,,, Russell Johnson in one of his early roles

 

 

 

 

25
May
13

return of the jedi turns 30

poster

poster

May the 25th 1983, Return of the Jedi makes it’s theatrical debut, and we were there.   “Revenge of the Jedi” was the original name of the film until the last several months of the production.  Something happened story-wise that caused the big name change, and there was a rush to pull everything that was printed, whether it was posters or articles in Star Log, to be quickly replaced with the new title.  As anxious fans, this title change was an enormous event and we were all scrambling to get anything that had “Revenge of the Jedi” in the title.

Anyways it’s now May the 24th and a bunch of my friends, including Rod Andrewson, Scott Rigler, Brian Siken and a host of others made the big trek to Scottsdale, AZ to camp on the night before so we could be at the first screening of the final segment of the original Star Wars trilogy. It was a long night, and from our point of view, we felt like we were the only normal people in a sea of crazy fanatic fans.  There was girl that decided to walk out in the intersection at about 3:00 in the morning and pretend to control the traffic lights with her own Jedi powers.  At any given hour cars of thrill seekers would drive by and throw eggs into the crowd or hose everyone down with high pressure fire extinguishers. It was definitely a night to remember. The first showing was at noon so once we all got inside and to our seats, all the excitement began.  The Kachina was a big Cinerama theater and the best seats were about the 5th row from the front and in the center.  From these seats the screen seemed to wrap around and fortunately we got petty close to the E ticket seating. Finally noon comes and the movie begins.

Following one of SCI-Fi’s  greatest films of all time, “The Empire Strikes Back”, the anticipation for this installment was without measure.  The movie starts and the entire film is filled with screams and howls from the crowd.  The new visual EFX by ILM are breathtaking as well as the score by John Williams, but about half way through the movie I was really not thrilled by what was happening on screen.  As the stage was set with “Empire” as a dark, intense and very serious story line with deep character development, took a hard turn to whimsical and campy in Jedi… Teddy bears in the woods,  a pathetically wimpy  Han Solo who suffered from teen jealousy attacks.  Darth Vader turns into a softy and when he takes his helmet off we find out he is really Humpty Dumty.  The “other”, that Yoda had spoken of was Princess Leia who really didn’t hold up for any greatness.  And the final blow of Luke and Leia being twins.  I was very disappointed as the film played on but I thought it must have been because I was tired so I went again and, NO I was right it wasn’t anywhere near what I was expecting.  I went several more times to watch the speeder bike chase and the end attack on the Death Star but story wise I just hated where it went, or didn’t go.

Writers Kasdan and Brackett, as well as the directorial vision of Irvin Kirshner were deeply missed and their labors were tossed aside for cute, cuddly and silly humor.  Although the disappointment is still there 30 years later, I still love the film even though it was a far cry from what I was expecting to see.  Ewoks are still a lot more palatable than Jar Jar Binks.  HAAA HAAA! So with all that said, Happy 30th to RETURN OF THE JEDI!!!!

revenge poster

revenge poster

the Kachina!

the Kachina!

Jabba and Slave Leia.

Jabba and Slave Leia.

some of ILM's magic

some of ILM’s magic

the speeder bike chase, The highlight of the film.

the speeder bike chase, The highlight of the film.

Even more ILM Magic, It's a Trap!!!!

Even more ILM Magic, It’s a Trap!!!!

And may we present, Humpty Dumpty.

And may we present, Humpty Dumpty.

and to end it all we were treated to the atrocious Zug Zug song!!!!! OH what a world, Happy 30th jedi

and to end it all we were treated to the atrocious Zug Zug song!!!!! OH what a world, Happy 30th jedi




May 2013
M T W T F S S
« Apr   Jun »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031