Tag Archives: harrison ford

The Top 25 Fictional Presidents

Happy Presidents’ Day!

With everyone else running their lists of the top Presidents and the worst and because our current occupant of the Oval Office is, ahhem, how do I put it?

JLW79

Quite right. So, we thought we’d bring you the list of the top fictional Presidents to help us set our sights higher.

Let’s start with a couple of honorable mentions. While they didn’t make the top list, it’s worth noting that Roy Schieder, James Cromwell, and Bruce Greenwood have all played presidents multiple times. Because when someone says, “We need a President—who’s an actor who exudes gravitas?” the obvious answer is the guy who blew up Jaws, Farmer Hoggett, and. . .well, Bruce Greenwood. Robert Rodriguez also seems to like to cast random people as presidents in his movies, including George Clooney in Spy Kids and Charlie Sheen as the most hilariously named fictional president ever, “President Rathcock,” in Machete Kills.

And with that, I present to you, the Top 25 Fictional Presidents of all time

25. Stephen Colbert / President Hathaway — Marvel Comics/Monsters vs. Aliens played by Stephen Colbert.

Because the Executive Producer of Our Cartoon President has also been. . . a cartoon president. Specifically, a president who decides that the best way to attack aliens is with monsters. This film was genius and I never quite understood why it didn’t take off more.

Colbert ASM variant cover

Also, we should always remember that time in Marvel comics when Colbert (his persona as a loudmouth host of The Colbert Report, not his nicer, more mainstream self as host of The Late Show) ran as an independent, won the popular vote, and lost the Electoral College to Obama.

Losing the popular vote but being elected anyway? “Preposterous! Only in comic books!” you say? Sounds right.

Ok, so not exactly a president. But he’s right in that hall of almost presidents with Hillary Clinton, Al Gore and Samuel Tilden. And none of them got to team up with Spider-Man. (Yet.)

24. James Dale — Mars Attacks! played by Jack Nicholson.

Stealing a vibe from Dr. Strangelove and other b-movie alien invasion films, Nicholson is able to channel quite well the hapless president overwhelmed by alien invasion. My favorite is how he keeps believing the worst possible advice. For style, not for substance, you made the list.

23. Tom Beck — Deep Impact played by Morgan Freeman. Ok, I know he belongs on this list, but I get seriously confused about which asteroid movie this was? Oh, this was the one where the asteroid actually hits. Ok. Not with Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis. And was Morgan Freeman also the President in “Olympus Has Fallen”? Oh, no, that was Aaron Eckhart. Almost.

Anyway — Morgan Freeman. That is all.

doctorow wheaton22. Cory Doctorow / Wil Wheaton, Ready Player One

Are you ready for Ready Player One?

With the movie coming in just a few weeks, hype is in full gear. Worth noting, in Ernest Cline’s book that the film is based off of, it mentioned the very real people Cory Doctorow and Wil Wheaton had been elected president and vice-president of the Oasis, the giant online system everyone uses for games, education, second life. At this point, who controlled the Oasis was far more important than who was actually president, as the real world really sucked.

Real people, fake product, fake presidents– but we could use more people like them in politics and fewer like, well, most of the people in charge these days.

21. Preston Rickard / Beth Ross, Prez from DC Comics

Kids elected president? We could do much worse. In this satire where future presidents are elected by Twitter because turnout is so low and kids are allowed to vote, somehow a social media star gets elected president. In the 2015 reboot, they even bring back the original Prez from the 1970’s. It’s great satire because our politics have literally gotten just that bad. You can read a more full review we ran here and also here, and here, and an interview with the writer here. A series that was cancelled too soon, maybe it will get rebooted again in another 40 years.

20. Thomas Whitmore, Independence Day played by Bill Pullman.

Ok, just watch that clip above. That’s the only reason why. Yeah, he flew a fighter jet to save the earth, but so what? Big summer movie speech– the biggest summeriest speechiest movie speech ever. And please try to forget that Independence Day 2 ever happened.

19. Vanellope Von Schweetz – Wreck-It Ralph played by Sarah Silverman. Upon being restored to her rightful place as Princess of Sugar Rush land, Vanellope decides to transition her government into a constitutional democracy and become President. Hey, it’s better than ordering the execution of Taffeta Muttonfudge and the others who were mean to her. For being a president who is able to give up supreme executive power in favor of giving it to the people, you made the list, Vanellope. Also, looking forward to your sequel and you possibly becoming. . . a Disney Princess?

18. Merkin Mufflin – Dr. Strangelove played by Peter Sellers. 

On this list if only for the classic line “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the war room!” And because Peter Sellers.

17. Zaphod Beeblebrox — The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Finally, a president whose narcissism rivals that of our own! Two heads, three arms, and the biggest idiot, he was elected president of the galaxy — a position which has no power and is only there to distract people from who’s really in charge. There are a lot of satirical presidents on this list, but this is one of the best. If he had Twitter, no doubt he’d be tweeting about being “a very stable genius” “despite all the negative press covfefe.” Also, the only president with his own music video (from the 2005 film starring Sam Rockwell as our president) — and he’s better looking, too.

16. President Skroob — Spaceballs played by Mel Brooks.

It’s good to be the king, er, president. Floozies. Unlisted walls. Nobody telling you your ass is so big. Your own canned air supply.

Too bad you run a civilization so dumb that it is running out of oxygen. (I’m betting Scott Pruitt runs Spaceballs’ EPA) But still, hail Skroob!

15. James Marshall — Air Force One played by Harrison Ford. “Get off of my plane!” That’s all you need to make the list. Also, James Marshall seems like a pretty good guy. He’s resourceful enough to contact his people and sabotage his own hijacked plane, he can speak Russian in remarks to the Russian government.

I always thought this was the “President Jack Ryan” movie that we never got (because, let’s face it, Debt of Honor and Executive Orders will never be made into movies) as a follow up to Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger. Plus, it’s Harrison Ford.

14. Richard Nixon’s head — Futurama played by Billy West. “NIXON’S BACK!!!” Disproving the adage that there are no second acts in politics, Nixon served as President of Earth for most of the run of Futurama, providing some awesome times along the way– brought to you by Shenkman’s Rubbing Compound and the great taste of Charleston Chew.

Corrupt, easy to anger, and also pretty stupid, it makes us almost forget how bad the actual Richard Nixon was. And it also seems pretty spot-on these days.

13. Jackson Evans – The Contender played by Jeff Bridges.

One of my personal and pet favorites, President Jackson Evans spends most of the film trying to outmaneuver a slimy and hypocritical Gary Oldman (the second time he’s been the villain on the list! Whaddya know?!?) to get a woman confirmed as his Vice President. Oh, and also trying to order the most ridiculous things from the White House kitchen staff to show them they’re unprepared. Jeff Bridges is also part of a family of presidential stars, including his father Lloyd Bridges president in Hot Shots Part Deux, and brother Beau Bridges as president three times in 10.5, its sequel 10.5 Apocalypse and an episode of Stargate SG-1.

12. Kang – The Simpsons played by Harry Shearer. When Kang and his sister Kodos take over as Bill Clinton and Bob Dole in the 1996 elections, it was only a matter of time before one of them became president. They were sure fire winners, especially with classy campaign rhetoric like: “Abortions for some, tiny American flags for others.” “My fellow Americans. As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball; but tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!” When it was pointed out that they were aliens, Kodos pointed out it was a two party system. When some idiot said he would vote for a third party candidate, Kang sealed his place in history by saying “Go ahead– throw your vote away.” And that’s what make him so high on this list. Don’t like it? “Don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos.”

11. President Business – The Lego Movie played by Will Farrell. 

Both greed and conformity personified, President Business is perhaps the most subversive choice on this entire list. Most kids will never get the dystopian overtones, but if Gordon Gecko and Big Brother made a child out of Legos, this would be it.

Also, that awesome hat and those legs.

Those legs. 

Genius.

Also genius– you notice those are coffee mugs on his hat, right?

If only we’d heeded the warning of electing a “businessman” to be president. If Trump invited everyone to a Taco Tuesday, we know something evil is about to happen.

10. Lex Luthor – Superman.

Compared to the other villains on this list (and the current POTUS) who knew that Lex Luthor would be one of the least evil and least overt of the great villain presidents?

The best thing about Luthor as president (and always with Luthor) is he doesn’t think he’s the villain. He even gets the majority of America to agree with him. True genius. 

9. Leslie Knope – Parks and Recreation played by Amy Poehler. Ok, so she was never explicitly president on the show. But the show’s finale sure seemed to hint at it. And let’s be honest? She is exactly what we need right now.

Because unlike most of the rest of these dopes in the top 10, Leslie Knope embodies gumption and honesty and has yet to be corrupted by political power. And we hope she never does. We love you, Leslie Knope.

Knope/Swanson 2020.

8. Lisa Simpson – The Simpsons played by Yeardley Smith. 

Speaking of competent, smart, earnest women who could take over the presidency in a heartbeat. . . .

This is the clip everyone knows where The Simpsons predicted President Trump and a huge debt crisis because of his policies. But what we can hope for is the next occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will have the intelligence and empathy of Lisa Simpson. I’m not so sure about Secretary of the Treasury Milhouse Van Houten, though. I guess if (Producer of Suicide Squad) Steve Mnuchin can do it. . .

7. Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Comacho — Idiocracy played by Terry Crews. 

The smartest president in the not-too-distant-future (and Cassandra-like warning of our current administration), President Comacho was wise enough to let his Secretary of the Interior, Not Sure, put water from the toilet on the crops, even though we all know plants crave the electrolyes in Brawndo, the thirst mutilator. Also, he’s a champion wrestler, and who doesn’t want that in the White House?

Dave Kevin Kline Sigourney Weaver

6. Dave Kovic impersonating President Bill Mitchell — Dave played by Kevin Kline. 

In the second-greatest Ivan Reitman film of all time, we get to see what would happen if we actually let a regular guy be president. And the answer is a not half-bad job. Dave’s jobs program makes sense to me, and his approach to trimming the budget to keep a homeless shelter open? Would that we could actually do that. While not the most accurate portrayal of Washington, it’s a version I wish we lived in and less like the real world Washington, which is more petty and full of incompetents — like Veep.

5. President Lindberg — The Fifth Element played by Tiny Lister.

As one of the many presidents on this list who have faced destruction of the planet, he handled it the best.

Because what every president should do when facing disaster in the 90’s? Throw Bruce Willis (in this case Corbin Dallas) at it. And perhaps the best part is where he gets yelled at by Corbin Dallas’s overbearing mother.

Wait. . . Gary Oldman’s the bad guy in this one, too! Definitely a pattern. . . and maybe a metaphor for this year’s Best Actor Oscar race, too.

4. David Palmer — 24 played by Dennis Haysbert.

Possibly the most badass of our top 5 presidents, David Palmer stood up to assassination attempts, terror attacks, and Kim getting menaced by a cougar (ok, so not that last one).  He was also the only guy who seemed to be able to control Jack Bauer, which probably qualifies you to be on this list anyway. Also, a crazy murdery wife. And a competent brother who made a good president in his own right. But he was no David Palmer. Few people are.

2. [tie] Josiah “Jed” Bartlett/Andy Shepard — The West Wing/The American President played by Martin Sheen/Michael Douglas.

This is a tie because you can’t truly separate these two characters, as they both personify Aaron Sorkin’s idealized White House full of competent, well-meaning people. Yes, it’s a fantasy in itself. But it’s one we wish we had.

Still one of my favorite tv shows of all time and one of my favorite movies of all time. Also, I think it’s time to reboot The West Wing. Sorkin said he’d reboot it with Sterling K. Brown as president, but I think we could do even better. Pitch: It’s the first two years of President Seaborn’s first term. Except President Seaborn is actually Sam’s wife, and she’s played by, oh, I dunno. . . Gina Torres, Eva Mendes, Eva Longoria, or Rosario Dawson.  Who’s with me?

Honorable mention here to President Santos, our first Latino fictional president.

1. Laura Roslin — Battlestar Galactica played by Mary McDonnell.

A lot of fictional presidents have faced down apocalyptic threats to Earth. Few of them have had to live on after the apocalypse.

Laura Roslin did that and more. Despite being completely unintentionally thrown into the presidency (she was a schoolteacher and Sec of Education before) she filled the role like few others could. And she held her own against Adama, against Tom Zarek, against those fraking cylons, and finally against cancer. She made mistakes along the way, but she rose to what she needed to do. And that is why she is the best. So say we all.

###

So, who did we miss? There’s a couple intentionally left off here for very real, non fictional reasons, but if we missed your favorite, or think we rated someone too high or too low, let us know in the comments!

Movie Review: Blade Runner 2049 is a Masterpiece

Blade Runner 2049Blade Runner 2049 is a masterpiece and 2017’s best film.

And beyond that I’m not going to tell you anything more about its plot, characters, or anything else you’d expect from a movie review. Don’t let anyone tell you too much about it apart from what you’ve seen in the trailers, as this is a film that deserves to be experienced without much else in the way of explanation.

And, for the love of all that is holy, after you’ve seen it—don’t spoil it for your friends. Just tell them to go see it, too. And go see it with them. And then spend hours afterwards obsessively discussing everything about it.

Suffice it to say it is a continuation of the story from 1982’s Blade Runner set decades in the future in 2049. Ryan Gosling works for the LAPD hunting down and “retiring” rogue replicants, the same job Harrison Ford’s Deckard had in the original. And he uncovers something that threatens to turn their entire world upside down.

Despite his prominent placement in the trailers, don’t expect this to be a Ford / Gosling buddy cop movie. It’s not. Ford doesn’t show up until later, with even less screen time than his turn in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, his role is vital, and answers lingering questions definitively (though not overtly) that fans have often asked about Deckard.

Director Denis Villeneuve cements himself here as one of, if not the outright, best directors working today. (Public Service Announcement: impress your friends by pronouncing his name correctly. Remember that he is French Canadian, so his first name sounds  more like “Deni”—think like what John Snow calls Daenerys but with an e instead of an a. And his last name is “Vill-neve.” Say it like the beginning of “villain” and “nerve” but without the r.)

Villeneuve pulls incredible performances out of his actors. He understands exactly the world and mythos he’s playing in (arguably better than Ridley Scott?) He understands pacing and tension better than anyone else working today- if you saw Sicario, Prisoners, or Arrival, those were all just the warm up act.

And on top of all of that he has the most incredibly keen eye for visuals. He brings to life the world of this dystopian wasteland in 2049, and does it all in beautiful darkness and light. Again, his play with the darkest darks and hiding things, and his beautiful eye for how different wavelengths of light bring different feelings to the scene shows a master at work.

Just know that there are some amazingly beautiful things here. Giant skyscraper-sized women advertise companionship. A fight in a derelict casino takes place between Ford and Gosling while a glitching hologram Elvis and dancers perform in the background. Ana de Armas and Mackenzie Davis meld/merge into one person.

And then there’s Jared Leto. His turn as the head of the giant corporation producing replicants has an air of a techno-Jesus Zillionaire PsychoDoucheBro. If you hate Leto, you’re going to hate him more—and be glad Villeneuve keeps him shrouded in shadow for much of the movie. If you like his performances, you’re going to hate him, too.

But the real stars of the film are the women. Apparently, the dystopia of Blade Runner is only slightly less misogynistic than the dystopia of The Handmaid’s Tale. Mackenzie Davis (Halt and Catch Fire) is Mariette—and we should likely take that name more literally as marionette—echoing exotic dancer Zhora from the original. As a newer model replicant, she cannot disobey orders and engages in sex work: she is stripped of agency and therefore the ability to consent. So every sexual encounter is therefore rape.

Ana de Armis is even more stunning, for reasons I won’t go into, because spoilers. But her place as Gosling’s girlfriend Joi make you question the nature of love. . .  and then by the end you get the rug ripped out from under you and recognize just how awful this existence is.

Leto’s henchwomen “Luv” (even the name is cringe-y for how women are treated) is also amazing, with a performance from Sylvia Hoeks that rivals any recent femme fatale. She displays a singular focus reminiscent of a Terminator and a glee in carrying out her orders.  But still, all of them are robbed of any real choice in their circumstances.

And then there’s Robin Wright – who is having a spectacular year – as Gosling’s boss and apparently the only woman in all of Los Angeles with any sort of moral agency of her own in this universe. She’s perfect, and this is the kind of role someone gets nominated for Best Supporting Actress for (but really they’re also nominating her for Wonder Woman, but can’t say they’re doing that.)

And it’s within these performances of all of these actors in top form and their various character arcs that we illuminate incredibly deep themes and questions about the nature of existence. Many of these were covered in the original Blade Runner as well, which is why this works so well as a true sequel.

What makes someone human? What purpose do memories and dreams serve? Can artificial intelligences love? Do they feel?

But this film also treads astonishing new ground. It provides a stunning critique of humanity that some might call Marxist—we’ve always depended on forms of slavery, so why not replicants? But, amazingly, we find out that even in a world with robot slaves (let’s be real, that’s what they are), we find there are still sweatshops and child labor. To what extent is everything built on the exploitation of labor? (see? Marxism.) The film reveals, but never answers. And that’s part of what makes it so impressive.

To fully understand what this movie is without revealing too much about it, I have found the best way to discuss it is by saying exactly what it is not. And perhaps the best way to discuss that is to compare it to two other spectacular failures of 2017: Ghost in the Shell and mother!

Ghost in the Shell felt the need to explain everything and dumb things down for the audience. mother!  was too pretentious and ponderous to have any meaning at all, always showing off how smart and deep it was rather than actually getting around to any real point. Blade Runner 2049 splits the difference between these two. It expects a lot from the audience, in much the same way Arrival did last year. But its themes and meanings are clear and reach a logical conclusion, while still leaving room for vigorous discussion and debate. But unlike Arrival and perhaps more like Sicario, it offers a basic narrative that even someone not wanting to watch serious science fiction could enjoy as a basic neo-noir drama with occasional fights and explosions.

Ghost in the Shell and mother! completely missed the mark on their source material (if you include the Christian Bible as source material for Aronofsky’s mess of a film) and seemed almost designed to peeve the target audience who might otherwise like what you would have to say based on their fandom. And at least in the case of mother!, one needed to be familiar with biblical stories and themes to understand what was happening. For Blade Runner 2049, fans of the original film or the Phillip K. Dick story it’s based on will be rewarded. But perhaps even more remarkably, there is zero barrier for entry. You don’t need to know these to understand or enjoy the film. Even better, Blade Runner 2049 nails its biblical allusions, while mother! shows a sophist’s view with all the understanding of the Bible of the most smug atheist subreddit known to man.

And finally, Ghost in the Shell and mother! made questionable choices when it came to whitewashing the main character and treatment of its female main character respectively. While some have tried to play this off as “commentary” (Well, that’s how it is, isn’t it?), their apologism rings hollow. Villeneuve’s previous work on his last two films shows he knows exactly what he’s doing with his female leads. While he can take the hit as the central storyline is still about men and conflict between men while women are robbed of their equality and humanity, I believe the social commentary comes down to Leto and Wright and their performances.

Leto’s Tech Jesus DoucheBro is obsessed with creation of life, and specifically procreation. [Minor spoiler] At one point he even takes a new”born” female replicant and stabs her in the abdomen where her uterus would be, pointing out the “flaws” in his creations—they can’t make babies.  Here he is at the pinnacle of technology, able to create life, of a sort, if you believe “I think, therefore I am,” but he still demeans women and sees them as nothing more than receptacles for procreation. And empty wombs must mean some sort of failure on his part. . . again, you can see why I said this was only slightly better than The Handmaid’s Tale in its misogyny.

And then there’s Wright. She’s the only woman with any agency in the film. She’s also [minor spoiler] one of only two actual women we meet in this world. So if the women in this universe are treated awfully, it’s because they’ve all been commoditized and replaced with replicants.  The other woman character in a late Act 2 speech talks about “the price of freedom,” when her version of freedom is actually complete isolation from all other people.

And in seeing that women are not free in this future, we also see that no one is free. That’s what makes this a dystopian nightmare. Are self-aware replicants actually more human than human? Are the slaves of society really its masters? Is this where we’re going as a species?

And. . . some of those questions might be more fully explored in a future film. Because, oh yeah, there’s definitely an opening for a sequel here.

This is one of the deepest and most satisfying films of the year. It’s also challenging and multi-faceted. It’s beautiful to watch and shows that even the most sacred of cows can be milked for more material.

We didn’t think we needed a Blade Runner sequel. But Villeneuve delivers here something spectacular: a sequel to a classic that perhaps is even better than the original.

5 out of 5 stars.

Movie Review: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

star-wars-force-awakens-official-poster30 years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat rises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a ragtag group of Heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance.

One of my earliest memories is going to see Return of the Jedi in the theater, I was about four years old. The film made a lasting impression, as it’s one of the earliest memories I have, particularly a scene in the throne room featuring to guard dressed in red just standing at attention next to a door. I remember the experience as magical, and 32 years later I walked out of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens with that same magical feeling.

For the running time of a little over 2 hours, from the first Lucasfilm logo to the last, I felt something I haven’t felt in a theater in a log time, like a kid. I felt joy, and watched a film that hit me in a way I haven’t experienced in a film in years. And I’ll admit, I teared up quite a few times with an overwhelming feeling of joy. And this is from someone who is not a Star Wars fanboy. I own very little paraphernalia, but I can watch the original films (and even the three prequels) over and over.

The Force Awakens is nowhere perfect. Some plot lines aren’t explained, and some scenes could have been done without, but overall, the movie captures the feel of the original trilogy the second completely missed. The plot is almost a rehash of A New Hope mixed with some Empire. And that combination still feels like something new and fun.

It’s hard to write a solid review without spoilers, but here I go.

The Force Awakens does an amazing job of mixing characters old and new, and it truly feels like a passing of a torch in many ways. Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, and BB-8, all are new characters but they seamlessly blend with Han, Leia, Chewy, and the Millennium Falcon (a character on its own). But, what’s fantastic is the series gives us so much in those characters that are new. Rey is a female lead who can stand on her own. Finn is a conflicted Stormtrooper who plays a more traditional gender role, highlighting Rey’s independence. Poe, the badass pilot. And new roles for old characters as well, Leia, now a General. These are faces that emphasize anyone can be a hero no matter your gender, size, or skin color. And, it’s done in a way that’s subtle, creating a modern Star Wars, a more inclusive world (weird to say about a film that had lots of aliens milling about with each other with no issues). The acting as a whole is what I’d expect for a Star Wars film, more on par with the original trilogy, than the substandard acting of the prequels.

The smartest move was the return to practical special-fx, moving away from digital, something that hurt the prequels. This created a sense of more realism and creatures and items you could touch. That adds to the magical feeling missing from the prequels.

The film too is nearly all action, taking some of the best moments of the six films, and just going with that, giving us dogfights and aerial maneuvers that take you for a ride, especially in 3D. And there’s more of that. A lot more of that.

The film isn’t perfect. The First Order isn’t explained. The Resistance/Republic relationship isn’t explained. How others can wield lightsabers so easy isn’t explained, or a Stormtrooper can parry one with their own sword like item. Poe getting back to base is left open. The Force is now more like a mutant power, emerging when angry or under stress. There’s a few sequences I’d have cut out, and the film hit some nostalgia so close, they might as well instead have done a shot for shot remake. Phasma was woefully underused in the film. And the score isn’t nearly as memorable.

But, what’s new, how it’s packaged and flows is what’s amazing. I really felt like I was at an experience, and I was getting to see old friends on the big screen again. The film is pure joy for its entire 2 hours and 15 minutes. It’s not perfect, but it’s damn near close. For a film to make me feel like I was 4 years old back watching Return of the Jedi in the theater, that’s magic.

Overall Rating: 9.5

Director – J.J. Abrams
Starring – Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Rated – PG-13
Run Time – 135 minutes

Toronto Comic Con 2015: Celebrity Q&A with Dickie Beer

dickiebeerDickie Beer has been in a lot of movies that you have seen, only you probably don’t recognize him.  He is a near legendary stuntman that has performed in some of the biggest series in movie history, most notably in the last two Indiana Jones movies and the Return of the Jedi.  The most recognizable of his role was as the stunt double for Boba Fett, but he has been in many other films including several James Bond, Total Recall and the second Transformers movie.

The question period started out with some technical difficulties with the microphone, so Dickie told a story while people waited.

Dickie Beer:  While we figure out these technical problems, I can tell a funny anecdote.  One day my daughter came home from school, and I could see that she is very excited.  She almost screamed to me “I didn’t know that you are so famous!  You are Boba Fett!”  And I asked “Who is that?” because I played so many characters in the Star Wars movies and forgot who they all were.   [microphone is fixed]

Question From the Floor:  What is the most dangerous stunt that you have done?

gamorDB:  When I was filming Return of the Jedi I was playing a Gamorrean guard.  We were filming in the Yuma Desert, which was very hot, and the costume was so hot and so heavy that I had to take it off every few minutes just to breathe and so that I would not overheat.  At one point there was a scene where Carrie Fisher had to knock me down, and every time that I fell down I needed three people to help me back up, because the suit was too cumbersome to stand up on my own.  During one scene, they called for lunch, and the three people that were supposed to pick me up ran off to lunch without remembering that I had fallen.  When everyone got to the food hall, Carrie noticed that I was not there and she ran back to help me up.  It might sound funny compared to other dangerous stunts, but when she came back, it really saved my life.

QFF:  What is your favourite Star Wars movie?

DB:  It may sound funny but I don’t like watching movies all that much.  I don’t enjoy them as much because I don’t look at a movie as a story being told, I look at it as a job.  I am the worst movie watcher ever because I always see where people make mistakes or when they have done something wrong. So I am afraid that I haven’t seen any of them all the way through.  Don’t tell anybody.

QFF:  Do you have any directors over the course of your career that were easier to work with or harder to work with?

angjolDB:  There are always good people and bad people and I prefer to talk about the good people.  There are three actors that I like to work with – Harrison Ford, Angelina Jolie and Geena Davis.  They are my three favourite actors because of who they are.  They don’t behave like stars, they treat you like a human being, with respect.  You treat people how you want to be treated and they are these kind of people.  I like to work with some directors, my favourite is Spielberg.  I like the way that Spielberg operates.  One of the things that I learned from Stephen Spielberg is to not ask him what is next because he will say “you have the call sheet, you have the script, and that’s about it. That should be enough information so don’t come to me asking what is next because you should know if you’ve done your homework.”  He has always been good to me and what I like about him is that he remembers each and everyone’s name, and I am very bad at names.

QFF:  What do you think about the new Star Wars movies?

DB:  I haven’t seen them (laughs).  You mean the new ones coming out?  I hear all kinds of stories, but I don’t know.  Lucas is still involved but it is not produced by Lucas anymore it is Disney.

QFF:  Have you heard anything about them?

DB:  The only thing that I know is that Harrison is in it, Mark Hamill is in it, Carrie Fisher is in it, Peter Mayhew is in it and C3P-0, Anthony Daniels.

QFF:  What is the biggest freefall that you have done?

double impactDB:  The highest one was 150 feet, and I didn’t know that it was 150.  It was for a movie called Double Impact, with Jean-Claude Van Damme which was shot in Hong Kong.  There was a fall off of one of the cranes which picks up the containers off of the ships.  I estimated that it was around 110.  We set the air bag up and got everything set and then at night we had to shoot it.  What happened was that there were two lights, really bright lights, to the side of the air bag which were shining straight up into my face.  I looked down and couldn’t see the air bag because of the light were blinding me.  I asked the director “Do we need those lights?” and he said “Of course we need them otherwise I can’t see you.”  So I said “OK, can you turn them off for a split second to let me get in my position.  You say action and then I will do the fall.”  They turned off the lights and I spotted the air bag so I knew where it was and I knew exactly what I had to do.  Then I told them to turn the lights back on and when they turned them on I closed my eyes and kept them shut until they said action.  I did the fall with my eyes closed and counted off two seconds and knew that I should be through the beam of light.  That is when I opened my eyes Because my eyes were closed I had pushed off too hard and I went over the center of the airbag, which is the ideal place to hit the air bag.  What happens when you are too far forward is that the back side is shot into the air, and I was thrown off into the ground

QFF:  Have you ever looked at a stunt and said “this one is not for me”?

DB:  Not really because when it comes to doing something that looks like it is impossible, I always say “nothing is impossible as long as you give me enough time and money to figure it out.”  I always say that I can do it, but that it will cost a certain amount and will take a certain amount of time, and if they are willing to pay for that, then I can make it happen.  So far I have never said no, but other have turned me down and said that it is too expensive.  I figured out a system where I can crash an airplane for real and walk away from it but nobody has come up with the money to do it yet.

bridgeQFF:  Have you ever been injured in a stunt?

DB:  The only injuries that I have had is a torn ligament in my collarbone and a twisted ankle.  That’s it.

QFF:  Were you involved with the bridge scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom?

DB:  Yes, I was one of the idiots that fall off of there.  Actually, remember when they end up against the wall when they are climbing the broken bridge?  Every time that you see someone fall it was me, because I was the only one for some reason that was capable of staying close to the actors instead of … when falling you travel both out and down.

QFF:  Harrison was there too?

Film Title: Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines.DB:  Yes, he was there hanging on, and so was the actor that played the bad guy.  If Harrison was not an actor, he would be a stuntman.  The stunt coordinator sometimes had to tell Harrison not to take part in stunts because they were too dangerous or too tricky for him.

QFF:  What is the stunt that took the longest preparation on your part?

DB:  The longest that I had was about two to three months.  A lot of rehearsals.  A lot of crashing of cars to get that it was going to happen the right way.  That was for Terminator 3.  That scene where the crane is operated by the T-X.  That took months and months of rehearsals and trying thing out.

QFF:  How many movies have you made?

DB:  On IMDB I have about 110 listed, but in reality I have done about 150.  Some of the movies that were on IMDB, I had to take them off because they were so bad and I didn’t want my name associated with them.

Around the Tubes

Thursday night has come and gone at San Diego Comic-Con, but the fun is just beginning. Hit us up with questions on Twitter or if you want to say “hi.” And stick around all day for news from the convention!

Around the Tubes

Bleeding Cool – The Simpsons And Family Guy Are Going To Cross Over Properly – This could be interesting. The passing of a torch?

Bleeding Cool – Justin Jordan Walks Off Superboy – Huh.

MTV Geek – Harrison Ford Responds To Orson Scott Card: ‘Humanity Has Won’ – Nice response.

CBR Rob Liefeld & Gina Carano Bringing “Avengelyne” to Big ScreenCould be cool.

Harrison Ford Flips Out Over Star Wars Questions

In reality, it was all a nice bit, Harrison Ford and Jimmy Kimmel had some fun with Star Wars on last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!. While promoting his new movie 42, Ford also had fun with all of the excitement for Star Wars: Episode VII which will be directed by J.J. Abrams. I’m expecting some major announcements around it at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.