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Frank Tells Liz What Happened In the “Twilight Zone” Episode “Steel”

Dear Liz,

So I know you saw the new Huge Ackman vehicle Real Steel last week, and though we haven’t yet been able to discuss it in detail, I’m very pleased to hear that it was 100% pure enjoyment! (Surprising no one, really, because how could a cybernetic pugilism film from the director of Date Night be anything less?)

Anyway, I’m bummed that I couldn’t join you on the trip to the ol’ robot ring, so I’m going to try to make it up here. I figure there’s only one thing that can retroactively enhance the Real Steel experience: READING ABOUT THE SOURCE MATERIAL!

One of the many Marx toys! Have you all of them?

Liz, though I still have trouble believing it, Real Steel is not an adaptation of Rock’em Sock’em Robots. Apparently it is actually an adaptation of “Steel,” a short story by the great Richard Matheson, originally published in 1956 (eight years before Rock’em Sock’em Robots hit the shelves)! The Los Angeles Public Library system is very stingy with its back issues of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, so I have not been able to track down the story. Fortunately, they made it into a Twilight Zone episode! Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In the “John Carter of Mars” Trailer

Dear Frank,

You didn’t come see Real Steel with us on Sunday night, which I feel sad about because Real Steel, Frank? Was totally awesome. However, it was preceded by something perhaps a little less awesome — the trailer for John Carter of Mars — and Frank, I think we need to talk about it a bit.

You see, I have seen this trailer many, many times now, but it was this most recent viewing that finally cemented my firm opinion that this trailer is not a good trailer, and is perhaps an actively terrible one. Here it is, for your reference:

I freely admit that I have no familiarity with the source material, as my childhood was spent reading Bradbury obsessively, and while I know he read Burroughs obsessively when he was a child I never bothered to close the loop. So the thing I have to apologize for is this — Frank, today I have failed you. For officially, I’m here to tell you what happens in this trailer, but even though I have seen this trailer many times, I have no idea what is happening in it. Read the rest of this entry

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