Incompetent Gamers: Stronghold—Live Stream: Not enough *blank* m’lord

Join DarthPudden as Lord Pudden of Darth and Sharpy as Jedris of Nox Kingdoms! Who can stand the test of time?

Streamed live on YouTube, check it out ⬇️

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FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Orca (1977)

KILLER WHALE LACKS BITE.

I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Orca

Paramount Pictures / Dino De Laurentiis Company

In the business of capturing marine animals for a local aquarium, Captain Nolan (Richard Harris) harpoons a pregnant orca who miscarries and subsequently dies.

Overcome by grief and anger, her mate goes on a rampage against Nolan, his crew, and associates… stopping at nothing until the captain himself has paid for the loss of the orca’s family.

The first in a slew of major productions to rip off Steven Spielberg’s Jaws (1975), Orca falls short in every department. As its own production and without comparison to history-making masterpieces, however, Michael Anderson’s creature feature is a generally entertaining affair.

The film is quick to get straight into the action. And while the continuity of the footage used (natural stock versus artificial “movie magic”) is questionable thanks to the differing colour of the water, some nifty camera work and editing make the opening sequences relatively compelling. The first act climaxes with our titular mammal’s motivation; the unsettling miscarriage and disposal of his child, followed by the suicide of his mate.

In order to keep things as believable as possible, the story involves scientists and experts providing plenty of information relating to killer whales and therefore predicting and justifying the very concept of the film. However, it does not all quite come together. The main reason is that, even in creature features, it is the people that matter most. Richard Harris’s Captain Nolan is too unlikeable to be accessible; his aggressiveness is too prominent, too early on in the piece that the eventual revelation of his empathy for the avenging orca is diluted. Additionally, Orca’s story structure may begin with an effective hook, but fails to maintain it with two-dimensional archetypes, an inconsistent pace, and Carol Connors’s atrocious ballad ‘My Love, We Are One’ to round it all off.

But do not be overwhelmed by the film’s shortcomings. Even though Orca tries hard and fails to achieve what it sets out to, what it does offer still has some value. Taken in the right spirit, the film can be either fun or tragic. The action works incredibly well and the whale is believable enough to keep the audience invested in its plight. It is also the most likeable and fascinating character here.

Upon initial release, this cult classic was torn to pieces by the critics and saw modest box office returns. Admittedly, Orca is perhaps best enjoyed with a cold beer in one hand and a slice of pizza in the other. 3 / 5

 

Starring: Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, Robert Carradine, Peter Hooten, Scott Walker, Don “Red” Barry, Yaka, Nepo.

Director: Michael Anderson | Producers: Dino De Laurentiis, Luciano Vincenzoni | Writers: Luciano Vincenzoni, Sergio Donati, Robert Towne (uncredited) | Music: Ennio Morricone | Cinematographers: J. Barry Herron, Ted Moore | Editors: John Bloom, Marion Rothman, Ralph E. Winters

Available: Blu-ray.

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

I’ve been a Wayne Stellini and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

FRED at Midsumma 2019: From the Writer/Director

What Ever Happened to Jeremy Baxter? writer/director Wayne Stellini reflects on the team that will tell his story at this year’s Midsumma Festival…

I can’t remember the last time I made a New Year’s resolution. Tellingly, I can’t remember if I ever kept one! A friend and colleague once told me that she didn’t believe in them anyway. Why wait for a specific date to make a significant change or promise to yourself?

If I put all of my creative eggs in the New Year’s resolution basket, I don’t think I would get anything done. This is because a project only feels right when it feels right. It cannot be forced and nor can it be rushed.

As of this writing, I am penning a play, have written the outline for another, and only yesterday wrote the lyrics for a stage production that began life as a novel. None of these shows may ever see the light of day, but there is a satisfaction about getting ideas out of your head and on to paper.

There is, however, a greater reward in the creative process: producing a show! There is nothing like seeing your story performed on stage, hearing an audience laugh at a gag or gasp at a dramatic twist. And when the performance is over, you’re overcome with a sense of pride as the cast stand in line and take their bows.

Do not be mistaken—a writer always feels like a play is one edit away from perfection, a director always contemplates how the show could come together differently, and a producer is always thinking how they could have used their time, connections, and resources better.

But there are certainties that put your mind to rest, combat self-doubt, and even make the work fun: the team.

Actors Bayne Bradshaw, Ryan Stewart, Jeffrey Bryant Jones, and Ben K. Ronec during their first workshop in the FRED Shed.

I am lucky to have such a hard-working cohort. Most of us have worked together before—and they’re crazy enough to put on their theatre blacks for me once again. It’s important to have some fresh faces too and I think we’ve have the mixture just right. (Well, you can only know that come showtime.)

It is a remarkable thing to watch actors pull your story apart, analyse it, and put it back together again to see how their respective characters fit in their world. And I don’t take for granted their enthusiasm during rehearsals, as I have worked with people in the past whose negativity is nothing short of toxic to the creative process.

But working with Ryan Stewart, Bayne Bradshaw, and Jeffrey Bryant Jones again reminds me of why I love collaborating with them; the rehearsal space—affectionately referred to as the FRED Shed—is filled with positive energy and dedication. I wondered how quickly someone new to this dynamic would fit in, but Ben K. Ronec did it with enviable ease.

Producer and stage manager Fulya Kantarmaci is the glue that keeps us all together. She is more adored than any stage manager should be, but I suspect that most people in her role don’t have the same charming smile and work ethic that she does. She also steps up to the plate whenever needed; helping with marketing, acting as a warm body when a performer is absent, collecting props with minimal notice… She’s also leading the team of producers. Phillip Hunting—always my right-hand man—and Kirsten Shannahan, are doing phenomenal work behind the scenes, most of which will never get acknowledged. But that’s what producers do. They make things happen.

With the world premiere of What Ever Happened to Jeremy Baxter? only twenty days away, we’re sprinting towards opening night. We have the momentum behind us to get there. As a team.

 

➡︎ Read more from Wayne about bringing What Ever Happened to Jeremy Baxter? to the stage HERE.

➡︎ Learn more about the show HERE.

➡︎ Help us tell this story! Make a tax-deductible donation HERE.

Incompetent Gamers: Rocket League—Live Stream 6: Just a Quick One

DarthPudden, Sharpy and Fulish Fuji play Rocket League!

Streamed live on YouTube, check it out ⬇️

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Incompetent Gamers: Freddi Fish 5 — The Final Case!

Fulish Fuji is back to play the final case of the Freddi Fish franchise! Strap on your scuba gear because she is diving in deep for this one!

Streamed live on YouTube, check out Freddi Fish 5 — The Final Case! ⬇️

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The Monthly @ WiniFRED’s #18

It’s the final episode of 2018!

Join Fulya and Kendall as they discuss Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald in full detail—including reviews from you!

There’s spoilers ahead, so if you’ve seen the film, have a listen and let us know your thoughts! As always, get ready to respond to the next Monthly question, revealed at the end of the episode ⬇️

Happy New Year, from the team at The Monthly @ WiniFRED’s

PREVIOUS EPISODE: The Monthly @ WiniFRED’s #17 ⬇️

 

 

FRED Watch Quickie Review: The Age of Innocence (1993)

NOT SO INNOCENT?

I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is the underrated period drama The Age of Innocence

Columbia Pictures

Based on Edith Wharton‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Martin Scorsese‘s visually lavish and deliciously written study of 1870s New York aristocracy centres on the painfully suffocating emotional affair between lawyer Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) and the scandalously separated Countess Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer), whose young cousin, May Welland (Winona Ryder), he is engaged to.

The struggle between individual and social fulfillment is a recurring theme of Edith Wharton‘s writing, and her delicious use of language guides the audience through The Age of Innocence in the form of Joanne Woodward‘s narration. The way the camera often moves around the room, makes you feel as though you are a fly on the wall with Woodward whispering sordid details in your ear; a reflection of the potentially damaging gossip that prevents Ellen from truly feeling at home and threatens to destroy Newland’s standing in society—a society that is overseen by Mrs. Mingott (an outstanding Miriam Margolyes).

This underlying threat is beautifully conveyed by its central performers. Daniel Day-Lewis displays a stunning range of emotions as Newland (he swings from bashfulness to anger so easily), Michelle Pfeiffer evokes much sympathy as Ellen, presenting an emotionally damaged yet strong-willed character, and Winona Ryder‘s May has a delicate naïveté that grows into a conscience knowing. But these beautifully constructed, complex characters are so well developed that it is difficult to truly empathise with May; so invested are we in Newland and Ellen’s forbidden love that we never stop wanting them to be happy.

In the end, though, the decision rests with Newland and his choice is an emotive, self-inflicted cruelty. 4½ / 5

 

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder, Miriam Margolyes, Geraldine Chaplin, Michael Gough, Richard E. Grant, Mary Beth Hurt, Robert Sean Leonard, Norman Lloyd, Alec McCowen, Siân Phillips, Carolyn Farina, Jonathan Pryce, Alexis Smith, Stuart Wilson, June Squibb, Joanne Woodward, Domenica Scorsese.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Producer: Barbara De Fina | Writers: Jay Cocks, Martin Scorsese (based on the novel The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton) | Music: Elmer Bernstein | Cinematographer: Michael Ballhaus | Editor: Thelma Schoonmaker

 

Available: DVD

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

I’ve been a Wayne Stellini and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

FRED Watch Christmas Day Special: The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

MUPPETS MAKE IT A MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Walt Disney Pictures / Jim Henson Productions / Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Because everything is better with the Muppets, Phillip and Wayne revisit the classic family musical The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) in a special Christmas Day FRED Watch presentation!

Listen to their review here:

 

Check out the trailer here:

Starring: Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, The Great Gonzo, Rizzo the Rat, Fozzie Bear, Michael Caine, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Jerry Nelson, Frank Oz.

Director: Brian Henson | Producers: Brian Henson, Martin G. Baker | Writer: Jerry Juhl (based on the novella A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens) | Music: Miles Goodman | Cinematographer: John Fenner | Editor: Michael Jab low

 

Available: Blu-ray and DVD.

 

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

You’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from the FRED Watch team.

Collectible Chaos: Top Ten Things About The Muppet Christmas Carol

Join FRED the ALIEN Productions‘s pop culture queen Kendall Richardson for Collectible Chaos!

In this Yuletide special, Kendall counts down her favourite things about the holiday classic, The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Check out Collectible Chaos – Top Ten Things About The Muppet Christmas Carol ⬇️

Let us know your favourite Muppet moment in the comments!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from the Collectible Chaos team.

PREVIOUS EPISODE: Collectible Chaos: Top Ten Stan Lee Cameos ⬇️

FRED Watch Episode 12: Superman (1978)

WHAT A SUPER MAN!

Warner Bros.

It’s four nerds and a comic book movie for this episode of FRED Watch! Wayne brings Superman (1978), his favourite superhero film of all time, to Phillip, Ashley, and special guest Kendall.

While Ashley and Kendall share Wayne’s nostalgic childhood memories, Phillip experiences Richard Donner’s genre masterpiece for the first time… with a slew of superhero blockbusters to compare it to!

Listen to their review here:

 

Check out the original teaser trailer and theatrical trailer:

Starring: Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Glenn Ford, Trevor Howard, Margot Kidder, Jack O’Halloran, Valerie Perrine, Maria Schell, Terence Stamp, Phyllis Thaxter, Susannah York, Jeff East, Marc McClure, Sarah Douglas, Lee Quigley, Aaron Smolinski, Diane Sherry [aka Diane Sherry Case], Jeff Atcheson, Brad Flock, Rex Reed, Rex Everhardt [aka Rex Everhart], Larry Hagman, Kirk Alyn [uncredited], Noel Neill [uncredited].

Director: Richard Donner | Writers: Mario Puzo, David Newman, Leslie Newman, Robert Benton, Tom Mankiewicz [credited as creative consultant] (based on Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster) | Producer: Pierre Spengler | Music: John Williams | Cinematographer: Geoffrey Unsworth | Editors: Stuart Baird, Michael Ellis

Available: DVD and BluRay

 

Love the Christopher Reeve Superman franchise? We recommend following CapedWonder.com on Instagram!

 

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

You’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

 

RELATED VIDEO: Collectible Chaos—Top Ten Favourite Childhood Movies ⬇️