Wait, why a newsletter?
I'm sure you're thinking, "Great, another podcast has launched another newsletter. What's next, an OnlyFans?"
Well... Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Never say never, right?
The honest truth is I (Dom) am always looking for more ways to talk about the random stuff that comes up in our research and podcast conversations. For years I produced a companion podcast when we were going through the Miami Vice catalog all about the news and pop culture in the 80's while the show was running. When we transitioned to movies I ended This Week In Vice and haven't had a suitable replacement for the greatest era of action movies.
As I've weighed out what options I have for this information we gather for every episode, it boiled down to making another podcast, YouTube videos, or a newsletter. Recording and producing audio or video is a lot of work and I'm a lazy, lazy man. So, here we are with our first newsletter!
Here's what I can say for sure:
1) This isn't going to become a paid Substack or a Patreon perk. It will always be easily accessible, free, and ad-free just like the podcast.
2) Like the movies we watch, it will be a great idea with some fun moments, but clearly made with a limited budget and rushed to publish.
3) It is not exclusively a newsletter. If you don't want your inbox cluttered with even more newsletters, you can read this on our website and a regular old blog.
There will be a new newsletter/blog for every movie episode and will come out the Friday after the podcast hits the feeds. You can subscribe to get it in your inbox, read it on our website, or follow our Twitter which is the home of all our show information.
It is the future! I mean barely, but THE FUTURE!
One of my favorite aspects of sci-fi movies is the world building, especially anything that tries to imagine what our lives will be like in the future. This often comes up when the movie is only slightly in the future, instead of the pant-suit uniforms for distant future stories. The movies that take place just barely in the future is where the most interesting and creative guesses take place.
Excluding Alien Nation, which could only dream up that Ronald Regan was still President and that they made 3 more Rambo movies.
What I love about movies set in the near future is they have to take the existing world and choose what to slightly tweak. It is much easier to do when the movie is set far into the future where you can completely rebuilt the whole society, with just traces of the former world. An example of this is Logan's Run. There are some semblances to the old world, mostly outside of their little utopian city. But, most of it has been completely lost to time and now everyone just does drugs, has sex, and is killed at 30.
Maybe it is not all bad.
Slightly into the future requires the world to be familiar and allow the viewer to imagine themselves in that world. The high bar for this type of setting is Blade Runner which takes place in 2019, 27 years in the future when the movie premiered.
This is why the Alien Nation future is so funny. All we had to do was imagine what three more Rambo movies could possibly be about. Obviously us in 2021 have figured out what those are and it is mostly digging tunnels in the Desert Southwest. I think we can all agree we want the next Rambo movie to be a documentary about how he built them.
There are many movies that fit the "barely in the future" bill. I'd love to see your recommendations! What sci-fi movie that is set slightly into the future has the best society? Hit reply or tweet at us with your pick. Personally I'm a sucker for future game shows like Death Race 2000 and The Running Man.
What's your choice?
What to do after watching Alien Nation
Read this article Mandy Patinkin
A short, and very old (from 2012), article with quotes from the man himself about Criminal Minds. If you don't want to read the whole thing, here's his thoughts:
Patinkin only recently began opening up in interviews about that departure. “The biggest public mistake I ever made was that I chose to do Criminal Minds in the first place,” he says. “I thought it was something very different. I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year. It was very destructive to my soul and my personality. After that, I didn’t think I would get to work in television again.”
Check out this interview with James Caan
This is the full interview John mentions in the podcast in which Caan absolutely destroys Alien Nation. It is worth a full read in which he also says he discovered Michael Mann, turned down Brian's Song 4 times, and makes the interviewer very, very nervous.
The headline of the article says it all.
Watch an Alice Cooper full concert
Trust us, this is well worth your time and perfect for a Saturday night hangout at home. My recommendation is to setup a projector, turn up the music, and get a smoke machine on Amazon to have the most authentic experience.
What to watch next
Since we finished watching Alien Nation, all I've been thinking about is District 9. If you are in the mood for another slightly in the future with aliens movie, this one should be at the top of your list.
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