The Underground — Issue #100
Everything you need to know about in this weekly series: Conan may have filmed his last video game segment, King Kong returns to the big screen, Valerian and Laureline is a comic you must read, and a cult classic returns to the theater.
At Social Underground we go beyond the mainstream stuff and see what’s underneath the surface. What should we get into, listen to, read, eat or watch? If there is something in our culture that needs attention that’s our job: Show you the underground things that you need to know about: Books, music, television, movies, comedians, art, and whatever else we can find to get you into something you never knew about. That’s The Underground.
1. Conan plays Final Fantasy XV with devastating results. Usually Conan will play a game on his Clueless Gamer segment with hilarious results, but this one is absolutely devastating as well as laugh out loud funny. The thing about the Final Fantasy series is that it has had a dramatic drop in quality ever since the groundbreaking influence of Final Fantasy VII. In this one. it looks like a boy band running around the desert in leather talking about dresses. I’m not even joking. Not even that, but one mission takes 3 days to beat. I’m not talking about video game time, but and actual 72 hours of real time to beat a monster. I’ve put in that much time over weeks and week on just one game alone, but one boss to defeat in a game? Hell no.
Below is Conan and special guest Elijah Wood share in the disappointment of this game together. The problem with the games become evident as they play, but also that they’re playing the game with the developers in the next room watching them sh*t all over the game in real-time. This could actually be the last Clueless Gamer we get to watch because I don’t think any video game company would want to put their game through this.
2. Kong: Skull Island looks pretty damn amazing judging by the trailer. The movie is produced by the people who did Godzilla in 2014. That movie sucked. It wasn’t as bad as the version with Matthew Broderick in the 90s, but it still sucked. I thought it was good the first time I saw it, but recently I showed it to my Dad and realized how bad it was. It was so dark, Godzilla was barely on the screen, and when he was dimly lit and you really couldn’t tell what the hell was happening. This movie looks like we finally get to see the monsters during the day. I really don’t understand why filmmakers thing watching monsters fight at night when it’s raining is a good idea. I didn’t pay all this money to go to the theaters to squint my eyes and wonder WTF is happening.
Premise: In the 1970s, a team of explorers and soldiers are brought together to venture deep into an uncharted island in the Pacific—as beautiful as it is treacherous—unaware that they are crossing into the domain of the mythical giant gorilla known as Kong. (As well as other monsters.)
Kong: Skull Island looks like it has a fantastic cast, and it also gives off a heavy vibe of the movie Apocalypse Now. From the trailer below, it remains to be seen what the giant gorilla has in store for the humans who come to his island. I have a feeling that he will destroy the bad humans, but have an emotional kinship with some others who he can tell aren’t there to hurt him, but to learn from him. Kong has always been a tragic figure in cinematic history, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Oh, and Brie Larson looks gorgeous. I don’t know if that’s sexist, but whenever I see her in clips from the movie, I have to try and not let my eyes roll into the back of my head.
Check the trailer below. It’s beautiful.
3. Valerian and Laureline is a comic you should read to prepare you for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.
In our last edition of The Underground, we showed you the marvelous trailer for the movie based on the comic, so why not introduce you to the original comic it’s based on? I burned a weekend reading them and was glad I did. Within the first few pages I was hooked on the universe that was presented. This series ran from 1967 – 2010. What’s astounding about it is that only about 2 pages of each volume appeared in a weekly newspaper. That means it took 6 months to get a full comic. The amount of patience a fan in Europe had to wait was insane. That’s why it’s so good. They took the time to make it the best it could be, and it was worth every wait.
Premise: The original setting for the series was the 28th century. Humanity has discovered the means of travelling instantaneously through time and space. The capital of Earth, Galaxity, is the center of the vast Terran Galactic Empire. Earth itself has become a virtual utopia with most of the population living a life of leisure in a virtual reality dream-state ruled by the benign Technocrats of the First Circle. The Spatio-Temporal Service protects the planets of the Terran Empire and guards against temporal paradoxes caused by rogue time-travelers. Valerian and Laureline are two such spatio-temporal agents.
Crazy, right? Yeah, this comic was way ahead of its time, but you can read it all right now for free. I read it for free, but then bought all the volumes because it felt wrong not to have such a great graphic novel series on my bookshelf. Give them all a read here. You won’t regret it.
4. Donnie Darko is coming back to theaters for its 15th anniversary with a 4K restoration. I discovered Donnie Darko shortly after it came out. NO ONE heard of it since the release got almost zero press. I remember seeing Jake Gyllenhaal in the movie October Sky and thought he did a fantastic job, so I thought I’d give this movie a shot because the trailer made it look surreal. I’m glad I did. It’s one of those movies where you have to watch it 10 times to try and understand it, but then it messes with your mind all over again.
Premise: Donnie Darko doesn’t get along too well with his family, his teachers and his classmates; but he does manage to find a sympathetic friend in Gretchen, who agrees to date him. He has a compassionate psychiatrist, who discovers hypnosis is the means to unlock hidden secrets. His other companion may not be a true ally. Donnie has a friend named Frank – a large bunny which only Donnie can see. When an engine falls off a plane and destroys his bedroom, Donnie is not there. Both the event, and Donnie’s escape, seem to have been caused by supernatural events. Donnie’s mental illness, if such it is, may never allow him to find out for sure.
I can recall every person I have ever shown this movie to for the first time when the end credits rolled. Their eyes were stapled open in shock. It’s a movie that impacts every viewer in a different way because there’s so much going on. Everything down to the soundtrack is perfect. It’s a movie you can’t get up to go to the bathroom during because if you do, you’ll miss something essential to the plot.
Donnie Darko is getting a re-release sometime in December, but there has been no dates or locations set as of yet. When there is, I will be the first person to watch this movie in the theater. Have a look at the anniversary trailer below and get excited for one of the best movies ever made to come back to a theater near you.
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post,UPROXX,BGR and by just looking up his name.