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Former Host and Writer of MST3K Launches RiffTrax

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the invention-exchange dept.

185

dougman writes "Today James Lileks mentioned his 'friend and all-around comic genius/good egg Michael J. Nelson' called, to tell him about his brilliant new project, RiffTrax. Here's the pitch: '...free-lance commentary tracks. Bottom line: Mystery Science Theater 3000-style commentary for big famous beloved movies like Titanic or The Matrix. The hitch: you have to provide the movie. It's genius: no worries about copyright. You buy the commentary tracks for $1.99, rent the movie or get it out of your collection, load the commentary on your iPod or burn it to a disk, then watch them together in true you-got-peanut-butter-in-my-chocolate bliss. ... The first movie is Roadhouse." Cool! I voted for The Matrix as the next one to be riffed." While I (and many others I know) preferred Joel, Mike was not without his share of funny moments too. Without Crow and Servo it just might not be the same, though.

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Thanks in Advance (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753764)

I'm looking for a sassy Latina woman who loves having someone touch her bare feet.

Serious replies only.

Re:Thanks in Advance (-1, Offtopic)

Tiiba (949795) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753870)

Why do I keep seeing these retarded, blatantly off-topic personals in serious threads all over the web? And now this "serious replies only" crap. Unless this one is some sort of inside joke, because I didn't read the article yet...

Re:Thanks in Advance (1)

nickheart (557603) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753902)

Actually, I seem to remember this being one of the comments in an early MST3K episode... I'll go ask Google...

Re:Thanks in Advance (3, Informative)

heptapod (243146) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754040)

You're seeing them because you, genius, don't know how to adjust your reading threshold [slashdot.org] .

Re:Thanks in Advance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15754116)

http://www.softpawmagazine.com/ [softpawmagazine.com]

HTH HAND

Open Hangar Doors!! (4, Funny)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753773)

Stay frosty, boys, we've got a flame war coming! Joel vs. Mike seen on radar, heading straight for us! Batten down the hatches, prepare all escape pods, brace for impact!

Re:Open Hangar Doors!! (1)

Sabaki (531686) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753817)

Quick, to the Humdingers box!

Re:Open Hangar Doors!! (1)

Flounder (42112) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753829)

That's Hamdingers

/anal mode off

Re:Open Hangar Doors!! (1)

Sabaki (531686) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754423)

Dammit, I was afraid I was going to get it wrong.

Re:Open Hangar Doors!! (2, Funny)

Flounder (42112) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753819)

Jeez, Joel vs Mike flame wars are so mid-90's.

Re:Open Hangar Doors!! (2, Funny)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753884)

What if we have a Chuck Norris vs. Zap Rowsdower war instead?
Yeah, I know that all of you bitchass fanbois might think Norris is the bomb but,

Wait a sec, someone's knocking

doesn't everyone like Joel? (1)

eean (177028) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753833)

I seriously thought everyone just liked Joel more. Perhaps I'll be enlightened. ;)

But really, regardless of whether its Joel or Mike or has the robots or not... comedy really does need more then one person.

Re:doesn't everyone like Joel? (1)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753855)

I don't know how a person could choose between Mike and Joel. They're both the maximum amount of good.

Re:Open Hangar Doors!! (2, Funny)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753885)

My favorite is Joike, you know, the guy the sweater was made for.

Re:Open Hangar Doors!! (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 7 years ago | (#15753960)

A winnar is you.

Re:Open Hangar Doors!! (4, Funny)

Hao Wu (652581) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754006)

Stay frosty, boys, we've got a flame war coming!

Nothing sadder than a bunch of Slashdotters competing to be "Alpha-dork".

Re:Open Hangar Doors!! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15754026)

Nothing sadder than a slashdotter coming here to tell us he's above it all.

Re:Open Hangar Doors!! (1)

Hao Wu (652581) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754671)

Don't worry, I include myself in the category. (Mike is funnier, by the way.)

Re:Open Hangar Doors!! (2, Funny)

Improv (2467) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754060)

Give me rocket number nine! I want to watch!

Good idea but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753782)

Are there any sites with free commentaries? It seems like Podcasts would be a good technical match, rather than this. And are there any video players with commentary integration (eg, noticing that you're watching a movie and doing an online lookup for commentaries, offering to stream it while you watch the movie)

Re:Good idea but... (3, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753876)

Maybe a MythTV plugin would be in order.

Record the show and wait an hour or 5 before playback and you could have Henry Kissinger pitching snide remarks to Gretta Van Susteran while watching War of the Worlds.

Wait a month and you could have some really cool total-replacement sound tracks of Bush calling a world cup game.

Re:Good idea but... (2, Interesting)

JAFSlashdotter (791771) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753909)

Maybe a MythTV plugin would be in order.

Record the show and wait an hour or 5 before playback and you could have Henry Kissinger pitching snide remarks to Gretta Van Susteran while watching War of the Worlds.

Wait a month and you could have some really cool total-replacement sound tracks of Bush calling a world cup game.
Maybe even better would be a plugin or player that also allowed the overlay of video from another source (e.g. the silouhettes, as an mpg file) in addition to just sound.

Or just get some construction paper... (1)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754368)

and some scotch tape.

Re:Good idea but... (2, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754711)

Actually it's pretty trivial to do this with a recorded audio and video file in Quicktime Player. (Yes, yes...I know, the Slashdot hivemind hates QT Player.) I don't know whether you have to buy -- *cough*typeinserialnumber*cough* -- it in order to do this or not, but you just open your audio track in one player window, hit Cmd-A, Cmd-C to select and copy it, then go back to the video and paste it in. It's been a while since I've done this, but I think you can even do this so that it pastes the audio into a new layer rather than mixing it with the existing audio, so that you can turn it off and on at will.

You can also do the opposite and add the video to the audio, which is advantageous if you want to use the "paste and scale" option: Quicktime can paste in a video track and alter its timing so that it ends up being the same length as the track it's being pasted into, which is very helpful if you have two tracks that are supposed to be the same length and in sync, but they've gotten desynced during processing somehow. (This used to happen a lot in the bad pre-HandBrake days of DVD ripping on the Mac, when you had to process the audio and video tracks separately.)

The only problem with this method is that the resulting file is a Quicktime MOV (not an MP4) regardless of the format of the original video, which is sure to lead to bitching from PC users if you send it to them.

You can also do fun things like paste music overtop of video to see if it matches up (I recommend 2001: A Space Odyssey and Pink Floyd's Meddle, personally).

I don't know of any way to do this with incoming streams, save just playing one in the background in your streaming audio player application, while watching the video in front with its audio turned down.

Re:Good idea but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15754425)

It seems like Podcasts would be a good technical match

OMFG, you mean a compressed audio file download?!?! Seriously people, "podcast" isn't a "technology". It's a fucking file download, sometimes delivered via RSS feed. Get over it.

And dude, just about ALL video players at least support playing external audio files (maybe not on windows, but your software blows for watching videos there anyway). I don't know about mixing a second audio stream over the original, but that'd be problematic if the commentary file didn't have some way of controlling the volume of the original track anyway.

Re:Good idea but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15754519)

And dude, just about ALL video players at least support playing external audio files (maybe not on windows, but your software blows for watching videos there anyway).

Mainstream Slashdot Reader == Arrogant Loser With No Friends

Re:Good idea but... (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754510)

Well, there's Wag the Movie [blogspot.com] but they're so-so and audio only. Dumb college kids.

Why, sir! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753786)

Surely you mean you prefer Michael J. Nelson!

Not an original concept (2, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753791)

Might be better than your typical fan-made one of these, but there are other examples. One of which, I think the one I went looking for, was called DVD Tracks, but it seems to have went away... Here's a /. article about this though. [slashdot.org]

Re:Not an original concept (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753841)

If you want to check out how Mike does on his own, I belive he did commentary track on a recent re-release of reefer maddness on his own.

The dream of an MST3K reunion (4, Interesting)

Flounder (42112) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753814)

The site mentions the possibility of having other people join Mike on the commentaries. As far as we know, Mike has kept in touch with Trace Beaulieu (Crow S1-7), Bill Corbett (Crow S8-10) and Kevin Murphy (Tom Servo S2-10) and is still on good terms with them, so it's not impossible.

Re:The dream of an MST3K reunion (2, Informative)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753904)

A reunion is not out of the question, but it would take a lot to bring it together. Many of the old props were sold off when Best Brains closed down its production facility and went to a licensing/merchandise business model.

I'd really like to see more of the side projects, namely another book from Kevin Murphy. A Year at the Movies [amazon.com] blew me away.

Re:The dream of an MST3K reunion (2, Interesting)

Flounder (42112) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754008)

A reunion is not out of the question, but it would take a lot to bring it together. Many of the old props were sold off when Best Brains closed down its production facility and went to a licensing/merchandise business model.

Since this is audio only, wouldn't having the props be kind of pointless?
But Mike and the bots have made appearances since the auctions (namely ESPN's Cheap Seats), so I'm assuming they put Crow and Tom Servo in cryogenic storage for such a day.

Re:The dream of an MST3K reunion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15754451)

Given that Tom and Crow (not to mention Gypsy, Cambot and Magic Voice) are *robots*, they would have been mothballed. Mike, on the other hand could well have been put into cryogenic storage, and is thawed out for special occasions.

Like the annual atomic wedgie day, for example.

HTH, HAND.

Sometimes silhouettes were funny (4, Informative)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753839)

I think this is really great, but sometimes my favorite parts of MST3K were jokes they played with the silhouettes on the screen. In one of the Godzilla movies, there was a bird's-eye-view scene of some Japanese soldiers with round, white bubble-helmets on. Joel stood up, knocked on one of the helmets, and the soldier looked straight up into the camera! :D Classic.

I'd like to see Mike Judge do Beavis and Butthead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753862)

The commentary on videos was always the best part of that show. As I was editing my own wedding video, I actually wished I knew someone who knew Mike Judge so he could come in and provide commentary. How cool would that be?

"Dude, he's gonna score tonight."

"Huh huhh uhhuhhuh huh huhhuh... you said score."

This reminds me... (5, Interesting)

ephraimX (556000) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753864)

...of Wizard People, Dear Reader [illegal-art.org] , a similar one-off project by Brad Neely; it's an audiobook-style replacement narrative for the first Harry Potter movie that, when synched up with the DVD (or DivX or whatever) makes for a freaking awesome movie.

No worries? (1)

aluser (771756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753877)

It's genius: no worries about copyright.
The track still seems like a derivative work to me. It wouldn't be legal for somebody to release diffs (or say an ed script such that it contains none of the unmodified code) for the linux kernel under a GPL-incompatible license; isn't this product analogous to doing that?

Re:No worries? (3, Informative)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753905)

All this is, is an additional commentary act. The original sounds of the movie are coming off the dvd that you provide. There is nothing that should stop me from sitting in a room, making a recording on my comments of the movie, and then releasing it. Granted, entities such as Major League Baseball are currently trying to prevent people from providing their own sportscasts of baseball games. Not sure all the details there, but this maybe, eventually, could be prohibited. Let's hope not.

That's right (1)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 7 years ago | (#15753998)

It is illegal to tell your friend that Bonds hit a homerun to left center in the bottom of the 7th.

Re:No worries? (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15753923)

IANAL. Don't diffs contain some of the original source? That is why it would violate the GPL. If you could somehow diff the GPL source without having any of the original source in the diff, i bet it would be compatible with the GPL. Similarly, as long as you don't include any of hte original movie soundrack in your riff, I can't see why it would violate copyright.

-matthew

Re:No worries? (1)

aluser (771756) | more than 7 years ago | (#15753953)

As far as I can tell, using the -e option to GNU diff produces output which does not include any of the original lines. I can't believe that you would be allowed to distribute proprietary versions of linux simply through the loophole that none of your modified lines are overly similar to original lines

Re:No worries? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754366)

They couldn't.

They may be able to distribute proprietary patches that the purchaser could then apply to the kernel and compile. The purchaser would not be able to distribute this compiled kernel though. And obviously the diffs would have to be distributed visible source.

It doesn't sound like much of a business model even if it were to be possible.

I would doubt that it meets the test that excludes libraries in the full GPL though.

Re:No worries? (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 7 years ago | (#15753924)

It wouldn't be legal for somebody to release diffs (or say an ed script such that it contains none of the unmodified code) for the linux kernel under a GPL-incompatible license

Is that so? I think it would be legal. A derivative work isn't just something that couldn't have been made without the original, it has to incorporate some part of the original.

Re:No worries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15754037)

<tangent> Derivative work or not, releasing diffs wouldn't really get you anywhere if your goal was to un-GPL the software you're releasing by making it private or closed source. However, if you want to stick it to them by not "[causing] the modified files to carry prominent notices stating that you changed the files and the date of any change", http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html#SEC3 [gnu.org] well that's just brilliant.

Re:No worries? (3, Interesting)

Kaptain Kruton (854928) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754038)

This isn't analogous to releasing diffs or modified code. If you want to use your linux code analogy, it would be similar to someone writing a lot of non-technical comments and opinions about the code and releasing the comments, but not any actual code. Because the person wrote all of the comments himself and did not include any of the code (modified or unmodified), I don't think he isn't breaking any licensing agreements.

Re:No worries? (5, Insightful)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754115)

IANAL. However, my completely IANAL-ish opinion is that these are not copyright infringement, and fall in the realm of fair use. I say this because I believe this type of work is nearly the same thing as writing a review of a movie, or posting some facts about a movie.

Most movie reviews are very similar to an additional audio track, save for the fact that one is designed to be synced up to the movie, and the other is written on paper. Reviews often comment on aspects of the film, such as a specific scene or a recurring theme or something. The only real difference an audio track has is, once again, the fact that it is designed to be played along with the film.

Posting facts about a movie is also considered fair use. You can say "this movie is two hours long", or "the lens looks messed up in these scene", and this is not infringement. An audio track seems to be very similar to this.

Other types of media also follow these rules. It is not infringement to say "this painting is ten feet tall", or "Mark Knopfler used a Gibson Les Paul when he recorded 'Money for Nothing'". It is also not infringement to say "Charles Dickens sucks".

There's even prior art: Dark Side of the Moon [wikipedia.org] .

Re:No worries? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754465)

"The track still seems like a derivative work to me."

Nope. But others have explained that.

I just wanted to nitpick on the bit you quoted. There are worries about copyright, just not about paying fees for that particular movie. One of the reasons that Tom didn't sing as much in the MST3K movie is that they had to pay for the rights for him to sing that little blurb of the song. (This is tougher in movies than it is for TV, but I don't know why so if somebody else could chime in I'd be very interested in hearing about it.) This may not affect Mike's performance as much considering he's not the singer Tom is, but it's still something they'll probably have to be mindful of.

Hmm.. I should go back and rewrite that so it's less delcarative, but my attention span's too short. :)

Spend your money! (1)

lumpenprole (114780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753878)

Well, damn it. Buy them. Fast and all!

Maybe some money will drag Joel in from whatever strange mountain cabin he's retreated to....

Re:Spend your money! (4, Funny)

Twisted64 (837490) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754238)

Maybe some money will drag Joel in from whatever strange mountain cabin he's retreated to....
I hear his bosses didn't like him, so they... shot him... something something.

And for the multiple-tracked among us... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753881)

it could get a trifle complicated if they put out a commentary to go with "The Wizard of Oz"...you know, playing the movie, the commentary AND "Dark Side of the Moon".

I suspect (1)

crazyjeremy (857410) | more than 8 years ago | (#15753898)

This should make all those movies on Oxygen channel easier to watch...

Remember SIMUL TREK? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15753901)

They used to have a radio show that did voice-overs for Star Trek in the LA area.

Deja vu (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 7 years ago | (#15753913)

We had something like that here in the Denver area in the Seventies, in the form of a program called High Street that ran weekly on a small FM rock station. The performers were four students at the U of Denver (located on High Street, and yes, the double entendre was apt). It ran in the same time slot as the late-evening movie on a non-network TV station, and the idea was to turn the TV sound down and let the High Street guys provide the audio.

They typically floundered for a few minutes until they'd settled on a plot premise (always extemporaneously, they claimed) and then they would get on a roll. They were incredibly creative, kept everybody in stitches -- and when Sammy Davis Jr. did a commercial for I-forget-what schlocky consumer product, they outdid themselves.

rj

Share Crow with ShareCrow? (5, Informative)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 7 years ago | (#15753922)

Don't forget you can use ShareCrow [sharecrow.net] to sync these commentaries easily if you have a Windows machine that uses compatible DVD player software.

(And check Commentary Central [commentarycentral.co.uk] for a bunch of freebie alternate commentary tracks, including my own for Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro [terrania.us] ...)

This raises a good question.... (4, Interesting)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754028)

This raises a good question: what if the MST3K folk were to release their commentary as a file that, when combined with the correct DVD player, would place their overlayed silhouettes over the movie. BAM! All the advantages of MST3K, no copyright worries over the movie.

Imagine the fun the bots could have with some of the real stinkers that have been released too recently to be available to them: MST3K of Waterworld, or of, well, any Adam Sandler movie.

Re:This raises a good question.... (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754175)

[This raises a good question: what if the MST3K folk were to release their commentary as a file that, when combined with the correct DVD player, would place their overlayed silhouettes over the movie. BAM! All the advantages of MST3K, no copyright worries over the movie.]

If only, but from comments and discussions re the "cleaned up movie" ruling the other day, this still may be a copyright violation. Go figure.

all the best,

drew
(da idea man)

Re:This raises a good question.... (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754316)

Nope, there is currently two models for the "cleaned" up movie going on. The first model is a special DVD player where you play the regular DVD along with software that you purchase for each DVD that does the editing on the fly. These have gone to court and were found to be legal. The other was a system where they were editing and selling an actual DVD with the edits predone that would work on any DVD player. This is obviously a nogo, editing someones work and reselling it is a nono.

It's Not the Same (1)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 7 years ago | (#15753932)

I love MST3K, see my screen name, but MST3K is dead. They should stop trying to re-package it into something less than the original. I'd be ecstatic if the full cast and crew got back together for more MST3K, but this feels desperate.

Re:It's Not the Same (1)

nofadz (834141) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754655)

Hey, if this catches on, you never know. Kevin, Bill and who knows who else might be convinced to help out on future ones.

The moview were half the fun (1)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 7 years ago | (#15753941)

MST3K was great, but the hillariously bad movies were half the fun.

Re:The moview were half the fun (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754004)

titanic wasn't hillariously bad?

Re:The moview were half the fun (1)

Flounder (42112) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754033)

Obviously, you've never seen Road House.

Re:The moview were half the fun (1)

k_187 (61692) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754504)

Just remember, shirtless Patrick Swayze is like cowbell. You can never have enough.

Re:The moview were half the fun (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754524)

We could still have fun with the blockbusters. What about in LOTR when Elrond (Hugo Weaving) is telling Gandalf how dangerous it is, someone in the audience yelled "Don't trust him! He's an agent!"

Two Dollars? (3, Funny)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 7 years ago | (#15753954)

He should do "Beter Off Dead" next, since he wants his two dollars.

-Peter

PS: Remeber kids, there is no "-1: I don't get it." moderation option.

Re:Two Dollars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15754053)

Cue claymation burgers and fries singing Van Halen - Everybody wants Some.

Re:Two Dollars? (1)

palndrumm (416336) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754122)

I get the joke, but couldn't disagree more - there is no possible way he could make Better Off Dead funnier...

It's GAY (-1, Troll)

GayFUD (989799) | more than 7 years ago | (#15753955)

You could get AIDS from the gayness of this idea

Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15753958)

Didn't everyone have this idea? It was so obvious to do when podcasting was getting underway. Only now, it's easier to sync to the DVDs.

No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame. (1)

ErnstKompressor (193799) | more than 7 years ago | (#15753962)

Sorry...

Michael J Nelson reads Slashdot (1, Redundant)

Hao Wu (652581) | more than 7 years ago | (#15753988)

It appears that Mike Nelson must be a fan of Slashdot too.... http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/06/30/145824 8 [slashdot.org] .

There are fans who do MST3K-style riffing, something like "commentaries". It would be cool to download some formatted overlays.

it is in an open format right? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754021)

I'm very very interested in this..

I think they should do the harry potter series..

I don't consider my improv particularly good, but I kept my friends in stitches riffing on that schlocky piece of crap.

Anyway.. .. the best way to get the commentary in would be something like imovie and its linux equivalents... for that you can't have DRM.

so plz.. NO DRM okaaay?

Done! (1)

Tharn (685165) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754080)

As seen above: http://www.sharecrow.net/?p=Crows [sharecrow.net]

That's nice.. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754098)

it's windows only, in that respect it may as well be written in sandskrit.. neeext.

Re:That's nice.. (1)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754294)

Probably won't be long 'til someone does a Linux/Mac/whatever equivalent. Someone had to have the idea before it could be implemented.

Re:it is in an open format right? (1)

solitas (916005) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754158)

I would _love_ to hear Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett beat-up the Potter movies!

ahem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15754041)

...torrent?

Nice, but not quite the same (1)

rjmars97 (946970) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754046)

This seems like a good idea, and I will definetly give it a try, however I don't know how profitable it will be. These tracks may be enjoyable, but they will never be the same as MST3K, especially without the other characters that made the show what it was. Mike Nelson did some audio commentaries for Legend Films [legendfilms.net] which are quite funny, but definetly lacking the atmosphere that MST3K had. I'm sure I'll prefer MST3K, and if anyone hasn't seen the show, I highly suggest getting [crowtrobot.com] a few episodes.

Re:Nice, but not quite the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15754222)

I've only seen the MST3K the movie, having suffered the misfortune of living in a country where the series never aired :)
If I was to watch this, where would you suggest starting? As early as possible? Or in the later seasons?

Thanks for any advice - I'm perusing that site you've linked to already :)

Re:Nice, but not quite the same (1)

triffid_98 (899609) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754340)

Probably season 2-3 were the best of the series. Joel was still running the show and thanks to Comedy Central he finally had a real budget. I found all of it very watchable, but basically the whole original cast is gone (Joel,Dr. Forester,original bot voices) in the later seasons. Even the Comedy Central episodes are missing the original sidekick (replaced by TV's Frank)

I've only seen the MST3K the movie, having suffered the misfortune of living in a country where the series never aired :) If I was to watch this, where would you suggest starting? As early as possible? Or in the later seasons?

Re:Nice, but not quite the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15754660)

Thanks very much for the suggestion - off to download some now ;)

No worries about copyright? (1)

Dlugar (124619) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754047)

No worries about copyright? In today's environment?

If a "cut-list" for a DVD is considered possible copyright infringement as a "derivative work", you can sure as hell bet that a voice-over commentary intended for a DVD can be considered possible copyright infringement by today's overzealous copyright holders.

Dlugar

Parody and Criticism exceptions to the code. (4, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754065)

Without actually embedding them in video feed youre not reproducing the work

There are also numerous examples and case courses resolved against copyright holders in cases of parody and criticism.

Nelson has a mountain of case law on his side, but youre right, i wouldnt put it past these people.

Re:Parody and Criticism exceptions to the code. (1)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754287)

As long as he stays away from Sandy Frank, he'll probably be okay. :)

EDLs are still A-OK. (3, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754809)

In your comment about the "cut list" I think you must be referring to the 'cleaned DVDs' topic of a few days ago, and I think you're misunderstanding that ruling.

What was prohibited in that case was the reproduction that Clean Flicks was doing in order to produce the edited versions. They were taking a movie, editing it, and then selling the edited version -- yes, they were selling each edited version packaged along with an unedited version, but they were reproducing the film just the same. That's where they ran into copyright problems.

Other companies who took a different tactic towards the problem, and avoided the reproduction step (by delivering to the customer an EDL that would cause the player to fast forward through various 'offensive' parts) were allowed under the ruling [newsblaze.com] .

There's a pretty good analysis of the verdict on FindLaw [findlaw.com] , which isn't too long and is worth reading. In particular: "The defendants also argued that they were protected by the so-called "first sale" doctrine ... [they] failed to win on this affirmative defense, because they were not just dealing in the hard copy, but rather making copies of it." (Emphasis mine.)

If you're willing to spend some more time reading things actually written by folks who have law degrees, I recommend this substantial article from the Georgetown Law Journal [findarticles.com] , which was written in 2004 and examines the viability under copyright law of several video-censoring technologies, including old-school razorblade tape splicing, CleanFlicks-type digital editing, and EDL-based 'skip over' systems.

Although CleanFlicks no longer offers the edited copies of DVDs, another company, ClearPlay, still offers an EDL-based product [clearplay.com] (which IMO is a much more elegant solution to the problem anyway, since it lets you pick what types of smut you personally dislike), as can be seen on their website.

This type of on-the-fly editing is legal, and was clarifed as such by President Bush's passing of the "Family Movie Act of 2005," which specifically allows you to make changes to an authorized copy of a motion picture, as long as you don't create a fixed copy of the edited version. The best part of the law? It's not limited purely to obscenity edits; according to one Forbes article [forbes.com] , it could be used just as easily to protect a fan's removal of the more obnoxious parts of Star Wars Episode 1 as it could the removal of Kate Winslet's nudity from Titanic. (Sadly, apparently the technology can't replace Jar Jar Binks with a naked Kate Winslet. Yet.)

So the next time you think that G.W. hasn't done anything for you, it seems that he may have let some good slip through after all.

Speaking of which... (3, Interesting)

identity0 (77976) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754048)

Hey, speaking of amusing but uninformative MP3s (just kidding, guys... :-) ), when are you guys at Slashdot going to restart Geeks In Space, or at least restore the archives? In case you haven't noticed, many of the old MP3s are missing from thesync.com. It's wierd, some of the MP3 files seem to have been replaced with a tribute page for a deceased person sometime in 2004.

Can you please host the whole archive of shows again?

And new shows would be good, too. I'd love to hear Cliff rant on about the name Wii, or Taco get cranky over Vista.

And to not be totally offtopic... I can't be the only one who thinks it won't be the same without the shadows in the corner. Especially not without the robots. What I would love to see, though, is a group of totally insane people like the cast of SeaLab 2021 commenting on the movies.

bring back geeks in space (1)

chocolatetrumpet (73058) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754373)

Where are my mod points when I need 'em?

Give TWIT some competition!

Oh look I called it... (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754052)

Right here, baby. [slashdot.org]

Oh, and you might need to read the summary for that article to get the full effect, etc.

BOOTBLACK! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15754155)

I was appalled when I saw how MST3K was made, that they have a group of writers sitting around brainstorming moment by moment what comment to make off the wall, then put it all in sequence to a script, and then rerecord the whole things with the shadow puppets and styrofoam. I was like, you got to be joking...

I do this peanut gallery shit in realtime, the first time, every time, and more often than not my warped sense of snide and slapstick humor makes the MST3K stuff seem lame like a spagetti noodle (sometimes they have their moments now and then and I bust the crap out laughing). I'm sure there are plenty of college students out there that can best or even top me... some really warped redhead girls...

I stopped watch MST3K because its soooo long and boring for the most part. You want to watch good comedy that moves at a pace thats not glacial, go for the AdultSwim mix stuff... Sealab, Drawn Together, Aqua Teen, etc...

MST3K had a good idea, get really corny movies and add a peanut gallery, but frequently the movies just aren't corny enough, or the main problem, they show the WHOLE THING start to finish. Some serious editing needs to be done to cut out a lot of the deadzones and keep the laughter going...

For example, Prince of Space. Prince of Space started out hillarious as hell. But then it just went on and on, like a David Letterman joke, and after a while you were like oh stop already... god this sucks...

einstein
http://rootpassword.com/ [rootpassword.com]

Re:BOOTBLACK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15754417)

I'm sure you're the funniest person on the planet.

Everything is easy when you're anonymous on the internet.

as for who was better (1)

Jurrasic (940901) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754157)

admittedly a latecomer to the series, I missed it during its actual television run, of all the episodes i've since acquired I find the Mike ones are preferable in comedy and cohesiveness to the Joel ones. /em ducks the incoming fire :)

Re:as for who was better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15754782)

I'm with you there man. But that probably doesn't me much, since I'm a lowly Anonymous Coward.

Lileks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15754174)

While the bit of MST3K news is interesting, I am amazed that the source for this article was Lileks. More accurately, I am amazed that anyone has managed to read through one of his "Bleats".

Gallery of Regrettable Foods: Entertaining
Everything else on lileks.com: Not so much

Lame (1, Informative)

Lane.exe (672783) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754207)

As anyone good Austinite knows, The Sinus Show [sinusshow.com] guys have been doing this for a while now, and while they aren't MST3K (for copyright reasons), I've never left a Sinus Show without a stomach ache from laughing so much.

Joel vs Mike... Sigh... (4, Informative)

John Fulmer (5840) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754284)

CowboyNeal *DOES* know that Mike was a writer on the show from season 1 on, and the head writer starting season 2, right.

That's one thing that I've never understood about the Joel vs Mike thing.... The writing staff was pretty much the same for both (with the huge exception of Frank Conniff leaving. Things were never quite as.... surreal afterward).

jf

I had this idea awhile back... (1)

analog_line (465182) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754360)

...though it was well before I became a MST3K fan. Woody Allen's What's Up Tiger Lily? was my inspiration. The only real problems with the idea were that 1) this was before DVD was a serious concern, so the idea of commentary was pretty new (my idea was to sell audio tapes, and play them in your stereo while watching your VHS movie), 2) No one ever took me seriously, and most inportantly 3) I have no real comic talent of the caliber actually needed to make money off this.

I'm quite glad that Mike Nelson (and hopefully he'll drag in as many MST3K alums as possible, plus anyone good he's met since then) has taken up the torch. (You all do realize that while Joel was the initial public face, Mike was the head for the entire run of the show, right? It's a pointless war which one was better!) It's an idea that needed to be tried, and he'll do a far better job than I ever could have.

Re-subbed movies much better. (1)

Jonah Hex (651948) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754378)

I've been doing this both alone and with my buddy Jack [myspace.com] for a few years now, using Asian films as the base. First I pulled off a 6 hour marathon turning We're Going to Eat You! [imdb.com] into We're Going to Eat Jack for his birthday. Here's a short clip from some facially deformed man originally singing some fairly normal song, with timecodes, etc removed:
A fucking bell? It's part of the birthday party... This is Jack's Birthday song with blood and gore all night long and drink until you all fall down Watch me wave my penis wand with five speeds it goes on and on Bang it on my gong and stick it up my crack Once you've seen this movie there is no going back From a tape deformed man, Happy Birthday Jack! Solo!
Next up was Battle Royale [imdb.com] , which we both worked on for another friend's birthday, turning it into a kill or be killed game show. Those of you familiar with this movie will recognize the early section where they are watching the explanation video.
Time to watch the video. Don't fall asleep now... bitches. The Idiots Guide to Fight a Battle Royale! With Dayna Charlton! By Nintendo. WHASSUP, Japan Finals Team!! SUP, Ho! The survivor of this round, will advance to the World BR Championship! Good luck! -Fuck you! This Arena has a few new rules, that I'll be explaining to you! Pay attention, maggots. What you don't know can kill you!!! Japan's Arena is a deserted island that looks like this! lt's about 10 miles around, fully equipped with cameras, and the Hell-o-Chopper will be circiling the arena!! l said no whispering! All right, move, move. What did I say? Huh? Don't fuck around. Girls #18 Chatty Cathy Dead 41 To Go. Shaniqua! Asshole! -Benito! Benito! Shit! OK, back to the video! The Arena's divided into many Zones. Your host will inform you about which... 4 times a day! ...Zones the audience has selected to become DOOM ZONES lf you're in those DOOM ZONES, you should leave quickly... ...because DOOM is Fucking Nigh... OK, about the necklaces you're wearing. They're 100% waterproof and shockproof. .. ...and totally mooseproof! lt monitors your pulse, informing us... ...of your location and movements. So if you linger in a DOOM ZONE... ...or cause trouble, we can identify you, and transmit radio waves... ...And blow your fucking head up! BOOM!!! Fucking Crazy!!! lf you try to rip it off, it explodes too, and your pitiful friends will cry.
We figured that trying to redo an entire audio track would be too time consuming, have to replace all sound effects and everything. This method works much better since none of us speak anything but English anyways. We just started on Godzilla: Final Wars a month ago, and have started turning it into some kind of religious zealot war. These things have a life of their own, we never know how the story is going to turn out.

Jonah HEX

Why don't they look? (1)

smclean (521851) | more than 7 years ago | (#15754379)

Frank! Glad you could make it to the clam bake.
I am not a lousy butler!
That nosewheel feels mushy!
He tried to kill me with a forklift!
The master will not approve!
I accuse my parents!
Hirohito Gamera! Hirohito Gamera!
No Lupita! No!
There was no monster!
It was after the apocalypse...
Daddy, I want a coke!
It stinks!
Hi, I'm Max Keller.
Master Ninja Theme Song!

Frank, push the button.

good egg? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15754609)

Why is he such a good egg anyway? because he's so normal and smug? He was really bad at being all faggy. I like how Joel Hodgson would get all faggy. I think that's what made the show successful. Just goes to show!
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