Happy 600 (such as it is)

Well, not to get too self-congratulatory or anything, but this is my 600th post on this blog.  600!


Let’s see, the first post that I ever did, which was basically a short description of why this site is called “Blue Towel Productions” (now conveniently described in the About page, available in the menu above) was posted on November 13, 2011, a bit less than five years ago.  Or more specifically, 1698 days ago.  That means, roughly speaking, I’ve posted on this blog once every 2.83 days.  That’s a fair amount, I think.

In that time, we’ve had 10,672 visitors and 21,939 views, which is pretty small potatoes as real-deal blogs go.  Our best day ever, in terms of views, was May 30 last year, with 154, which is well-above the daily average.

The thing that got me thinking about this was actually wondering what my most viewed posts have been over this time.  Let’s have a quick look at the Top Ten.

10. William Russell as Ian Chesterton (Doctor Who)

Posted on August 20, 2014 • 83 Views

Initially this was going to be a comment on the Big Finish audio drama The Five Companions, but I ended up splitting the posts and because I had so much to say about one of my favorite characters from the original Doctor Who.  The result was this post, which stands I guess as my little tribute to one of the original cast members of my favorite TV show.

With an elderly Doctor who initially evoked as much suspicion as trust, Ian and Barbara were basically positioned as the show’s leading man and woman. Indeed, at the time, nobody would ever have called them “the Doctor’s companions” – that was really a term that began to be developed after they (and Susan) left the show and were replaced. Back then, they were just all part of the cast, part of the TARDIS crew.

9. Ten Interesting Non-Linear Movies

Posted on November 28, 2014 • 86 Views

This is one of my “genuine” lists (two facetious ones are coming up soon), as I listed ten movies that had non-linear elements which I thought were particularly interesting (and yet, Memento was not one of them!)  It was interesting to see the different ways that the  non-linear elements played out from movie to movie, from Citizen Kane to Speed Racer to The Usual Suspects and more.

This twist, revealed in the film’s closing moments, force us to re-examine everything we’ve just seen, to put together any sort of coherent picture of what’s happened.  So, non-linear on a bit of a meta-level, as well as in the film itself.

8. 11 Fan Theories about movies that will completely blow your mind and reshape the way you look at life and reality itself

Posted on December 13, 2015 • 87 views

And on the other hand, there’s this list, which was an almost completely facetious survey of fake fan-theories about films, written in the wake of seeing lots of real but silly theories in anticipation at the time of The Force Awakens.  Most of them were complete nonsense, but the one that linked Dark City and Knowing does make sense to me, and the one about the Superman movies has elements that kind of makes sense to me.

Anyway, just imagine the shock and awe for audience when they see the sequence in Batman v. Superman in which Superman and Wonder Woman pound on Doomsday and knock some of his rocky scales off his face, only to reveal Brandon Routh’s face underneath. Truly epic.

7. 15 “Don’ts” to remember for a Happier, Healthier Life

Posted on February 22, 2014.  88 views

This was my first facetious list, again inspired by lots of nonsense that one reads on the internet.  This was overall a better post the one listed above, simply because I think what I was getting at was lot clearer than in the other.  It’s still not as good as my “Life Hacks” post, which didn’t make the Top 10.

To put it another way, it’s like when you are driving to see your friend in New Jersey for an important meeting, but on the way you think you have extra time, so you stop in at this random zoo you see on the side of the road, and it turns out to be this odd place where you feed Froot Loops to the monkeys through PVC pipes.  This makes you upset and may even spur you to some sort of animal-rights action.  Sure, this might leave you with an interesting story to tell, and the monkeys may love you, but they just as well might be grumpy because you took away their Froot Loops, and then where will you be?

6. What I Hate About Doctor Who

Posted on November 21, 2013.  90 views.

Doctor Who is my favorite TV show, but as the 50th anniversary approached, I couldn’t help but to also reminisce about all the things that irritate me about the show.  It’s interesting that of all my posts about Doctor Who (and I do have a bunch) this is apparently my most “popular”.

Genesis of the Daleks – hokey looking giant clam.  The Empty Child – Rose dumbly ends up floating around on that balloon?  Remembrance of the Daleks – Davros shoehorned in.  Tomb of the Cybermen – Toborman is hoisted up with the help of wires.  The Daemons – Azal self destructs because Jo Grant is nice.  Half the stories have endings don’t make any sense, and most of the others have bad special effects.  It so often makes the show sort of embarrassing when you try to introduce it or explain it to someone who doesn’t get it.

5. The Martian (for realsies this time)

Posted on October 8, 2015 • 91 views

This is the most recent post to appear on this list, which for sure benefits from being linked to my most popular post ever (see below).  The “realsies” in the title comes form the fact that the previous post was going to be a commentary of the movie, but ended up being a survey of trivia related to the movie’s cast and the Apollo space program.  So the next day, I posted this article (I always hesitate to call them actual “reviews” for some reason, I’m not sure why) about The Martian, a movie that I thoroughly enjoyed last year.

It’s been a long time since I really liked a Ridley Scott film (although to be honest there are many I haven’t seen).  Gladiator is of course popular, but I wasn’t a big fan.  I’ve got to go back to 1991’s Thelma & Louise before I find something that really stands out to me (although it’s been that lone since I’ve seen the movie).  But of course, the guy did Alien and Blade Runner.  Those films were both great but kind of depressing.  It’s nice to see him on something like The Martian that not only has so much hope and positivity in it, but is also a top-notch piece of work.

4. Captain Phillips

Posted on November 11, 2013 • 119 views

The first item on this list to break 100 views!  And one of the few that I didn’t “fancy-up” with a funny title or anything.  Captain Phillips is an effectively told movie that I found gripping to watch, but not something I’ve given much thought about since.  It’s interesting to discover it’s so high up on this little countdown.

Up until that point, I was feeling seriously stressed out on behalf of the endangered crew.  But that changed after the pirates retreated with their prisoner.  Even though Captain Phillips was in a terrible situation, all I could think about while watching the movie was the fact that you knew these pirates were doomed, and that their miserable end was approaching.

3. Doomed Planet. Desperate Scientists. Last Hope. Kindly Couple. Superman.

Posted on March 24, 2013 • 157 views

This is the oldest post on this list, and is about Superman, of course.  But more specifically, I wrote it after seeing the animated version of All-Star Superman.  I spent some of the time talking about the film, some talking about the comic book its based on, and some talking about the history of superhero comics in general and where the book comes in that landscape.  The title, incidentally, comes from the opening words of both versions, one of the best summaries of the origin of Superman ever.

It’s a bit of a misconception to think that comic books should naturally translate into animation simply because they’re all drawn, and you can keep the same visual style.  When you take away the ability to move through the story at your own pace, to pause and ponder the art and story when you want to, to go back and re-read what you want, and the experience of looking at a whole page at once, you take away what comic books actually are, no matter how much you honor the original art style, compositions, and dialog. That doesn’t mean something like All-Star Superman is necessarily going to be bad – indeed, it isn’t – but it means that it will always be lesser and derivative, unable to really transcend its source material, in a way that other adaptations at least have the opportunity to do.

2. Why is He Lying on a Pillow of Walnuts? – Thoughts from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Posted on January 10, 2014 • 1802 views

Whaaa???  Obviously, with this post, I hit some sort of special Search Engine Optimization groove, because somehow, as you can see, my view-rate has jumped up massively.  The title refers to a question that my wife asked me in the middle of the movie, which just gets commented on briefly in the write-up.  Anyway, this is the only Hobbit / Lord of the Rings that I’ve even written about, so who knows if I couldn’t have netted myself a whole lot more views.  Oh well.  Has that ship sailed?  Nevermind, it was a fun post to write.

Tolkien purists will have a lot to complain about from this movie.  Fortunately for my enjoyment, I’m not one of them (having never even read The Lord of the Rings!)  But I even know there weren’t any scenes in The Hobbit in which Legolas rode astride two barrels flowing down a river while fighting Orcs.

1.  Donald Glover is a Steely-Eyed Missile Man (Some spoilers for The Martian, and a bunch of other rambling)

Posted on October 7, 2015 • 1996 views

This is the post that reminds me that I understand nothing about SEO, because I don’t know how I got such a high (for me) view count or how I could do it again.  As far as I can tell, there are just a bunch of people out there who are wanting to know what “steely-eyed missile man” is referring to, and I’ve benefited from their curiosity.  And though this post is only a bit higher in terms of views than the previous one, it was written almost 21 months later, so it’s popularity is pretty astronomical, at least in the perspective of this blog.

The post was another one of those that I got carried away writing, and had to save my actual comments on The Martian until the next day (see #5, above).  People who found themselves here ended up reading a little bit about the movie, but also a bit about the Apollo space program and the movie Apollo 13, and also some about Community.  Did those people find that worthwhile?  Who knows.  Most of them, it seems, don’t go onto other posts on this site, so maybe not.

So, to summarize, this movie is about Troy Barnes and Boromir going over the head of that psycho crime-boss from Looper to give instructions to the adult Murph from Interstellar, who is commanding a crew that includes Bucky Barnes, Sue Storm and Ant-Man’s good friend Luis so they can go and rescue Will Hunting (or to put it another way, that astronaut who went crazy after being left alone on that other planet, also in Interstellar.)

And that’s it!  A little celebratory trip down memory lane. These ten posts represent about 1/5 of the views on this site, and even a higher portion of the view on blogposts (since a lot of those 20,000+ views were for the homepage or for other pages where you can watch films, etc.)  Definitely some surprises in there for me.

Ok, onto other things…


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