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retooned Below are the 6 most recent journal entries recorded in the "retooned" journal:
March 15th, 2012
10:54 am

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"John Carter" movie = recommended!
"John Carter" movie - recommended!
3 stars (out of 4). It is a very good and satisfying 'science-fantasy' adventure movie.

Worth seeing in a theater. (I saw it in 2D, but it was obvious that there are very good 3D scenes.) You should see it now (for bragging rights), as it will become another cult-classic sf B movie in our future.

Compared to the original novel, "A Princess of Mars" I would say this movie would be like comparing "Blade Runner" to the Philip K. Dick novel, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?". The movie is not the novel, but catches much of the spirit of Burroughs' novels, originally published in 1912. The story is carefully set into a 'retro-historical' frame, to present the old sf cliche of 'romantic fantasy Mars', but the movie has been tweaked to be familiar & popular cliche movie entertainment for a modern audience.

There are sub-texts to the movie, and clear archetypes. It will be possible to have a serious conversation about this dream of adventure. The 'dream-logic' works, within this dream of this fantasy Mars. This may not have been the modernized dream of Mars that some of the media reviewers wanted to see. That may explain the wide range in the pro reviews.

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June 6th, 2010
07:16 pm

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"METROPOLIS" (restored) movie in theaters
I'd like to recommend that you see the restored "Metropolis" silent movie from the 1920s. It  adds 'lost' scenes from a version found in a collector's film archive in Argentina.

It is one of the films that originated many of our science fiction icons and dream images. Large aerial vistas of the City of the Future. Utopian gardens and Distopian working conditions . Shuffling through the steam. The Mad Scientist's lab. With lightning! The robot brought to life. With Tesla lightning! Huge machines, out of control (with lightning!). Sci-Fi special effects! Moloch! Remote controlled doors! Robot hootchie-kootchie dancing! New Babylon! Catacombs! Old cathedrals! Epiphanies! Blackouts! Freakouts! Forrest J. Ackermann! Screaming runners down dark Metropolis streets! Howls! Ginsberg!

But I digress....

In Minneapolis, it is playing at the Lagoon theaters, in the Uptown neighborhood.

There is still one sequence missing, but the film is now nearly complete. It has been re-edited, so the film is close to the original release edit.  The missing scenes show more of the characters' motivations and fill-out the settings. The original orchestral score has been found and it was recorded for the soundtrack.

If you haven't seen the film before, a small warning.:The film does show us the time in which it was made. The acting uses 1920s stage conventions, and in many places is going to seem unsophisticated. It is very much a 'message' film, embracing religion & class politics, and the 1920s culture of Germany & Europe.

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April 9th, 2009
03:25 pm

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David L. Arneson dies (D&D RPG) (1947-2009)
David L. Arneson, the "father of role-playing games" died on Tuesday evening. He is legally credited as co-creator of the Dungeons & Dragon role-playing game.

He was in college in Saint Paul, Minnesota in the late 1960s, He was a gamer geek, playing historical miniatures games with friends. He and some of his friends enhanced their wargames by adding in alternate history and historical re-creator style (theatrical) role-playing of generals. (And soon adding other key people in a wartime scenario). In 1970 Dave realized that his friends would probably enjoy a break in their historical games -- a non-historical medieval setting that used sf reasons to become a fantasy setting. They did like it. Very much. Obsessively much.

Dave applied all he had learned from the role-playing scenarios, and fine-tuned the methods of interaction. The players became individuals, seeking treasure to finance their political & military ambitions in this new fantasy world they had found. Dave became the locals that they encountered, and the source of the setting they wandered through. Dave was the first Gamesmaster.

Within a few weeks, the original handful of players became dozens sitting in at a gaming club at the University of Minnesota. Several groups split off to have their own small parties of players with separate dungeon-masters creating their own settings. Rules were modified and improvised from the loose & improv-style rules devised by Dave. Within a couple of months in the Twin Cities, there were easily 200 people role-playing in over 20 'dungeon' settings. Fantasy, sf, serious, whimsical. All with their own improvisation rules.

By 1971, Dave Arneson had started sharing this idea of fantasy role-playing to gamers in other cities, including Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, home of a game publisher he knew.

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February 28th, 2009
08:00 pm

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Free Will Eisner events at Minneapolis College of Art & Design Sunday 1 March
MCAD will have free events for "Will Eisner Week" starting 1pm Sunday 1 March 2009 in room Aud 150.

Sunday afternoon, there will be 2 illustrated talks (including one by guest Christopher Couch), and a screening of the documentary "Will Eisner - Portrait of a Sequential Artist".

MCAD is in the south side of the arts complex that includes the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Children's Theater of Minneapolis. 2501 Stevens Ave South, Minneapolis 55404.

For additional information: willeisner.com/will_eisner_week/

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May 25th, 2007
04:41 pm

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Recommended webcomic (meta-universe fantasy)
Thanks to Mitch Marmel at Belfry Webcomics Index:
Cheshire Crossing
A witty meta-universe combination of several familiar young ladies at an Institue in England.

Ken Fletcher

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January 30th, 2007
02:24 pm

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"It was the Beast of times, it was the Wurst of times...."
"To be or not to be -- that is the gezornenblatz...?"

After very strange fall and winter weather, Minnesota is back to typical late January weather. How cold is it? Last night, the Foletta-cat led me to the fireplace and requested _restart this, please_.

It's clear and in the single digits, just in time for the Saint Paul Winter Carnival. In years past there might be a foot or more of ice on the lakes by now, but the temperature was up to 40 degrees F not longer ago than Thursday. There's ice, but it might not be thick enough to be same to walk on.

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