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Monday, May 30, 2005
Things I Did Not Know About Star Wars, The Lord Of The Rings, and The Matrix

George Lucas' epic is based on the Akira Kurosawa film The Seven Samurai, a 1954 Japanese masterpiece wherein a team of 19th Century Samurai free a princess by attacking a space station.

Lucas improves on this original work of genius in every way, and scored a remarkable 9.6 on the Swayze Adaptation Analysis (1994 Revision).

The Lord of the Rings films are based on a 1978 Ralph Bakshi cartoon which used the method of rotoscoping (wherein actors are forced to wear thick, colorful paint on their skin in order to give a cartoonish pen-and-ink appearance). The most memorable fact about that production is that four actors were killed in the process, all succumbing to paint poisoning and/or neck injuries due to their ponderous wigs and fake beards which were made from a dense industrial-grade plaster, some weighing more than 120 pounds.

Unfortunately the spirit of the original tale is undone by the superfluous sequels (the original ended with the One Ring unbroken and Mordor still in power, conveying Bakshi's lone passionate lifelong belief that midgets are not to be trusted with important tasks).

The Matrix is based on the 1968 East German play Wirklichkeit ist eine Illusion, also lassen Sie uns sprechen Rätsel, Eintragfaden-Polizei und Tanzkampf ("Reality is an Illusion, so Let Us Speak Riddles, Shoot Police and Dancefight"). The original live production ended with a stunning dance sequence (set to Wagner's Nightsong of the Gun Mechs) which the Wachowski brothers have set side in favor of a silly RoboCopesque sky-shooting fireworks display that resembles an inner-city New Year's Eve celebration from the year 2214.
-- all facts from Pointless Waste of Time.

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