Day 151: Adidas Superstar Wars – Lace Windu Attacks

A double Star Wars/trainers pun for the last day in May. I’m spoiling you…

May 31 main

Sole Of Sci-Fi is feeling the Force again for the final day of May. The animated version of Mace Windu from the Genndy Tartakovsky Clone Wars must be one of sci-fi’s pinnacles of coolness. Sam Jackson is so cool he actually manages to come out of the Star Wars prequel trilogy with dignity intact; Mace Windu is one of the few things for which it’s worth watching George’s most expensive vanity project ever. And Tartakovsky’s ’toon take on the kick-ass Jedi is an angular, animated, apogee of attitude. And I bet that never gets quoted on any DVD sleeves.

The Adidas Superstar is, of course, a classic. Although launched in the late ’60s, they were catapulted into the zeitgeist big time in the early ’80s when rappers Run DMC popularised them (they even released a song about them – “My Adidas”). Run DMC actually wore them on stage and on vids with no laces and the tongue pushed out, which did become popular “on the street” for a while, until everybody realised they kept losing their trainers when they got in a fight. Probably. I made that last bit up.

This pair, by the way, is on loan from Jordan, who’s been raiding his cupboards to help out the challenge recently, after I put out a panicked call for help after I realised my source of trainers was running low. I actually had a great response. I’m also picking up a pair tomorrow from one on my Twitter followers who just happens to be on a stag do in Bath this weekend. Haven’t got a clue what they are, so that’ll be a nice surprise. Unless they’re Reeboks. But needs must.

photo (14)But the biggest new haul was once again from the Future Sports division – specifically Elizabeth Elliott to whom I am very grateful. Look at these boxes of delights! She said they were sent in for a feature; I’ve looked inside the boxes and can only assume the feature was “Most Garish Trainers”. Watch this space!

I interviewed The Vampire Diaries’ Ian Somerhalder yesterday. He’s promoting a new film he’s in, The Anomaly, written and directed by Noel “Tin Dog” Clarke. Somerhalder had no idea Clarke was once eaten by a “trash can” (I know it was a wheelie bin but wasn’t sure if Americans use the phrase “wheelie bin”). He does now, and I told him to ask Clarke about it the next time he sees him. I’m sure it’ll bring back fond memories.

ianneechI also had to ask him why he’s strangling a dog on his Ian Somerhalder Foundation charity website. Apparently he’s just being affectionate. That’s his own rescue dog, Nietzsche. Which he pronounces the American way so she’s Neeshee, not Nee-chuh. As he pointed out, Neeshee sounds a lot cuter that Nee-chuh.

This was a very odd interview.

We did talk a bit about The Vampire Diaries season six but you’ll have to read SFX 250 to find out what he says about how much he’ll be involved after the shocking events in the season five finale.

See you tomorrow.

Usual Sign-Off

• Current total: £805 (let’s make it to £1,ooo by the end of June!)

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything from 8 to 10) contact me at dave.golder@futurenet.com so I can arrange collection.

• Please, please, please leave comments below! I’m after ideas for mini-challenges, future photoshoots and how I can find enough pairs of trainers!

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Day 150: Iron Man, aka K Swiss Tony Stark

Today’s trainers are official Iron Man shoes. Unfortunately, not that Iron Man…

May 30 main 2

What a swizz! (Or may a K-Swizz, considering the brand of trainers I’m wearing.) I buy these kicks off eBay because they’re labelled Iron Man trainers, and when they arrive, they’re don’t come equipped with rockets boosters or repulsor beams! Plus, not even a hint of gold!

May 30 close-up 2Ah, I see. They’re not referring to that Iron Man… But rather the super-tough, worldwide triathlon competition. That’s the official logo on the Velcro flap. They’re clearly not designed for the 2.4 mile swim, and they aren’t shiny or strappy (or silly-looking) enough to be pro cycling shoes for the 112-mile bike ride, so I guess they’re for the full marathon all the Iron Man competitors have to run as well. Rather them than me. My 16 miles of cycling a day are more than sufficient thanks.

Iron Man NikesOf course, I knew that they weren’t actually Marvel’s Iron Man trainers all along. Honest, guv. But a little thing like that wasn’t going to stop me putting together today’s photo. Especially as the chances of me ever getting my hands on an official pair of Iron Man Nike Air Force Ones (left) is pretty damned slim to the point of non-existent.

Justin Theroux iron man nikesHell they’re so expensive even Hollywood actor Justin Theroux (Jennifer Aniston’s other half) could only afford to buy half a pair for the Iron Man 2 premier a couple of years back.

Oh, and for anybody outside of the UK puzzling about the pun in the headline – Swiss Toni is a character from an old comedy sketch show here in the UK called The Fast Show. It was brought out of storage last weekend to help celebrate BBC2’s 50th anniversary, and amazingly the new sketches were almost as sharp and funny as the show in its heyday. This NEVER happens. Revived – or reunion – shows are always a pale imitation of former glories; it’s a TV law. But no, the new Fast Show was actually very good indeed. A couple of sketches missed the target, but that was ever the case. Maybe its success says more about how rubbish most other scripted British comedy is at the moment. (Emphasis on most – whatever your current fave is, that’s clearly brilliant too; I have a soft spot for Bad Education.)

Roll on the weekend. May your Friday be swift and painless. Unless you’re a sadomasochist with the day off.

Usual Sign-Off

• Current total: £805 (let’s make it to £1,ooo by the end of June!)

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything from 8 to 10) contact me at dave.golder@futurenet.com so I can arrange collection.

• Please, please, please leave comments below! I’m after ideas for mini-challenges, future photoshoots and how I can find enough pairs of trainers!

 

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Day 149: Stamping Out Vampires

Sole Of Sci-Fi travels to Santa Carla for a little bit of vampire slaying…

May 29 main

Last night I Tweeted that today’s photo was never going to work. Now I’ve put it together… I’m still not sure it has. But hey, they can’t all be masterpieces and it just about works as a homage to The Lost Boys. If you can work out what’s going on…

The angle doesn’t exactly show off the trainers well, and as they’re a loan pair from Jordan they deserve a bit more respect, so here are those Nikes in full…

May 29 close-up

They’re not a style I’ve ever come across before, ad there’s no label on them revealing what they’re called, but they’re pretty damned smart. The only worrying thing about them was for a while I thought they had a Burberry lining – and I’ve never worn Burberry in my life (I may be from the South East but I’m not from Essex). Luckily it turns out it’s only pretend Burberry. Actually, not sure if that’s better or worse. At least you can’t spot it from the outside. Much.

May 29 Burberry

I actually wrote the following article a few years back, about how Buffy The Vampire Slayer may never have existed if not for The Lost Boys. I though this would be a great excuse to dust it down and give it another airing:

Don’t go blaming Joss Whedon for the current glut of shows filled with conflicted teen vampires, dewy-eyed fangbangers and hip, trash-culture dialogue. For one thing, LJ Smith’s The Vampire Diaries novels (1991 onwards) predate Buffy, while the TV series Forever Knight (1992) was almost a dry run for Angel (1999).

So there was already a trend emerging before Whedon shoved a stake in the unlikely hands of a blonde, Californian teenager. And if any film can be credited with kickstarting the vampire genere metamorphosis from velvet-cloaked Hammer hams and Anne Rice-style Byron wannabes into pin-up friendly, fanged James Deans, it was 1987’s The Lost Boys.

Directed by Joel Schumacher, The Lost Boys was a massive seismic shift in the way vampires were portrayed. Although its bloodsuckers are still undeniably the villains, the allure of the vampiric life is implicit in the way the vampires come across in the film. And hey, if you looked as great as the youthful Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric or Jami Gertz, why would you not want to live forever?

Still not convinced? Then here’s evidence that Buffy owes its existence to The Lost Boys.

1 The Lost Boys featured the first teen idol vampire pin-up

Okay, in one significant way David is not a direct influence on Angel, Spike, Stefan Salvatore, Edward Cullen, et al – he revelled in his evil, vampire instincts, and wouldn’t have dreamed of chowing down on rats or raiding hospital blood banks instead of drinking from a human source direct. But David – played with an understated relish by Kiefer Sutherland – is the first cool, hip rebel without a cause-style vampire in film and TV history. He rides a motorbike, wears leather, has stubble and smoulders. He is the vampire as pop idol. He made being a vampire seem cool. He even shed a tear at one point, betraying – perhaps – a sensitive soul. He may be the bad guy, but he’s also a poster boy for turning to the dark side. He’s certainly a more interesting character than the wet Michael (Jason Patric).

2 The music of the night

From the moment Echo And The Bunnymen’s jaunty version of The Doors’ “People Are Strange” strums into action over the opening credits, The Lost Boys marries pop music to the vampire mythos in a way that has shaped vampire soundtracks ever since. Okay, the bands that the Scooby gang would watch in The Bronze had slightly more alternative cred than the strutting, poodle-rocker that Michael and his brother Sam watch on the Santa Carla boardwalk, but the underlying rationale is the same – this new style of vampire tale exists in the same cultural world as its viewers.

3 The geek heroes

Whedon is (justifiably) lauded for celebrating the geek: Willow, Andrew, Xander, among others. But the original geek vampire hunters were The Lost Boys’ Frog Brothers – Edgar and Alan Frog (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander). We first meet them in a comic store, advising Santa Carla newcomer Sam (Corey Haim) to read a vampire comic, telling him to regard it as a “survival manual”. And they’ve clearly seen Rambo a few too many times. By the end of the film, Sam (himself an unashamed comics fan who sorts the store’s Superman comics into the right order) has become an honorary Frog Bro’ too.

4 Teen soap

A large element of Buffy was teen soap, featuring an impossibly good-looking cast (even most of the geeks) dealing with relationship problems. The Lost Boys got there first. Sam’s brother Michael (Jason Patric) only becomes involved with the vampires because he fancies a girl (Star, played by Jami Getz). The Lost Boys is as much a love story as a horror story.

5 Dialogue to die for

One of Buffy’s greatest strengths was Whedon’s achingly witty dialogue. Admittedly The Lost Boys’ script never matches his ability to create such an avalanche of snappy one-liners, but it does have its fair share of memorable lines. More importantly, you can certainly detect the seeds of the kind of gleefully quirky dialogue that Whedon would later refine in lines like “My own brother, a goddamn, shit-sucking vampire. You wait till mom finds out, buddy!” and “One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach, all the damn vampires.”

6 The culture show

Characters in Buffy were always namechecking films, comics, TV shows, bands and other zeitgeist-trembling ephemera. As did The Lost Boys, with references such as “The bloodsucking Brady Bunch”, “Warp speed”, “The Flying Nun” and “The Attack of Eddie Munster”.

7 Metaphor for life

If you thought Buffy invented the idea of using horror tropes as a metaphor for teenage strife, think again. The Lost Boys’ tag line – “Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die” – makes it clear that the film’s makers saw a clear parallel between being a vampire and being a teenager. Plus, Sam and Michael’s mum (Dianne Wiest) is a divorcee who (unknowingly) starts dating a vampire, allowing the writers to play with that old dramatic cliché – the unwanted potential new dad.

8 Big bad businessman

The Lost Boys even has a Big Bad, who, in true Buffy style, turns out to be an outwardly respectable businessman. Max may only be a videostore owner, but he is also a clear precursor to Mayor Wilkins and the lawyers of Wolfram And Hart.

9 Vamping out

The “vamp out” is a c0ncept inextricably linked to Buffy The Vampire Slayer, so much so it seems improbable it could have originated anywhere else. But The Lost Boys got there first:
Michael: “If something happens down there, I won’t have the strength to protect you.”
Edgar: “If you try to stop us, or vamp out in any way, I’ll stake you without even thinking twice about it!”

10 Santa clause

Both The Lost Boys and Buffy take place in California, partly, no doubt, because that’s where Hollywood is based, but there’s more to it than that. California injects some interesting dramatic ironies into the vampire myth, not least because it’s just kinda fun having vampires in one of the US’s sunniest states. But also, the hedonistic California lifestyle with its population of bubbleheaded valley girls and desperate wannabes also provides a stark contrast to the scuzzy, bloody word of vampires.

Usual Sign-Off

• Current total: £805 (let’s make it to £1,ooo by the end of June!)

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything from 8 to 10) contact me at dave.golder@futurenet.com so I can arrange collection.

• Please, please, please leave comments below! I’m after ideas for mini-challenges, future photoshoots and how I can find enough pairs of trainers!

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Day 148: Donkey Kong-verse All-Stars

Sole Of Sci-Fi goes bananas!

May 28 main

Today’s headline has to be another filed under: “Pun waiting to happen.” Donkey Kong has been sitting on Jordan’s desk since the start of this challenge, and it’s taken me this long to put two and two together. And then, even when the penny did drop last week, I didn’t have any Cons with which to do the photo! So this pair were an astonishingly cheap eBay purchase that look almost new, bought specifically for purchase. I’m doing a bit too much of that lately… so these will have to go to the car boot sale to make some money back for the charity. Or you can make me an offer (they’re size ten).

May 28 smallAnd just to clarify, these are low tops whereas the pair on Day 57 were high tops, so I’m not cheating – these are a different style, under the conveniently lax rules I set myself at the beginning of the year (you can just see on the third photo down on Day 57 that I’m not fibbing).

Oh, and just so you know, I loved Donkey Kong back in the day, but was always rubbish at the actual game. In fact, for somebody who was a games journalist for a while, I’m amazingly crap at most video games. I’ve only ever completed three in my life and none of them are much to boast about: Parasol Stars, Kung Fu Panda and Metroid Pinball. I adore Mario Kart, though (pretty much all versions) and nearly always play as Donkey Kong. I suppose I feel a connection (the guy who Tweeted me a picture of Ludo from Labyrinth the other day when I asked if anybody had seen me on TV clearly knows what I mean).

Finally for today – since I didn’t watch any sci-fi TV last night so I have nothing to moan about – I’ve been meaning to post this photo since the weekend, but kept forgetting until last night (when I uploaded it to the blog so that when I cam to write today’s installment, there it would be, waiting for me, to remind me). I built two Lego trains that I was given as birthday presents last week, but there were some bits left over from both of them.

So I built some random oojamaflip using ALL the leftover pieces, and bizarrely it ended up looking vaguely like one of automatic sentries from the extended cut of Aliens. Spooky.

sentry

Usual Sign-Off

• Current total: £805 (let’s make it to £1,ooo by the end of June!)

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything from 8 to 10) contact me at dave.golder@futurenet.com so I can arrange collection.

• Please, please, please leave comments below! I’m after ideas for mini-challenges, future photoshoots and how I can find enough pairs of trainers!

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Day 147: Warriors Of The Deck Shoes

The Sea Devils took a wrong turn at Portsmouth…

May 27 main

Okay, okay. Terrible pun today and a badly bodged-together pic. Sorry for that but it was another occasion when the epic that I had planned (with a Pirates Of The Caribbean theme) simply wasn’t working. Plus the rain meant I wasn’t in a mood for taking too look over the location shoot. Especially in those shorts. (Oddly the shoes don’t look as nautical if you wear them with jeans, I discovered. I hope you realise the sacrifices I make in the same of verisimilitude. Of course, there’s the sacrifice you have to make – looking at my furry Hobbit legs.)

As you might be able to work out, still used the same location pic I was going to use for the Pirates image; I just changed the sea-related sci-fi theme. Hence some Sea Devils from Doctor Who were herded up and dumped in the River Avon.

It wasn’t so much the fact that On Stranger Tides was on TV last night that shivered me timbers, as the fact that I was loaned a cheap pair of New Look deck shoes for the challenge (a pair of deck shoes definitely on the plimsolly end of the spectrum). I’m not actually keen on deck shoes; they say Daily Mail, pension adverts, gin and tonic and white slacks to me, but hey, they add some variety to the challenge.

“Careful! We could meet anything around the next corner. The Victorian Torchwood team. Or the League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Or Warehouse 12. Or the Paternoster Gang…”

“Careful! We could meet anything around the next corner… the Victorian Torchwood team. Or the League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Or Warehouse 12. Or the Paternoster Gang…”

Managed to get all of my freelance done yesterday. Actually quite pleased with my Penny Dreadful review considering that after three episodes, I still can’t work out if I actually like the show or not. There’s some fine stuff in there, but it’s all so dour. Dour may work for Game Of Thrones, but it seems to suck all the fun out of Penny Dreadful.

So, day  before pay day. Not many of those left for me. But I will be nagging a few people here at Future who haven’t sponsored me yet. You have been warned.

Usual Sign-Off

• Current total: £805 (let’s make it to £1,ooo by the end of June!)

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything from 8 to 10) contact me at dave.golder@futurenet.com so I can arrange collection.

• Please, please, please leave comments below! I’m after ideas for mini-challenges, future photoshoots and how I can find enough pairs of trainers!

 

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Day 146: Orange And Blue, The Portal Shoe

They said this game would have legs… 

May 26 main

A couple of years back when I was running the SFX website, I used to write a regular Friday column called Spurious Awards. Each week it would look back at the last seven days of sci-fi, highlighting some of the sillier stories and bizarre internet posts and YouTube videos. For a while Portal 2 was a regular fixture (its nearest rival in terms of mentions was Skyrim). People loved pimping Portal characters, or building them from Lego, or making Portal gun cakes (not kidding about that last one either).

So, if I’d been doing Sole Of Sci-Fi back then I would have confidently predicted that today’s pic would have gone viral. Now, though, I’m the last geek on the bandwagon.

But when I saw someone wearing these blue and orange trainers at work, the first thing I thought of, “Portal!” (The portals in the game are blue and orange, y’see.) So I spent a little bit too much buying on a pair from eBay just for this gag. On the other hand, they’re a great pair of kicks anyway, so I’ll be keeping these after the end of the challenge; file them under, “Would have bought anyway”. (They’re  a pair of Pearl Izumi Em Road M 3 trainers, by the way, which sounds more like a chemical formula.)

May 26 close-up 2

Oh, and because I know you like them – and I haven’t posted one for a while – here’s a behind-the-scenes pic showing how I got exactly the right angle on the legs for the pic. It was tricky because I had to have a little bit of sole showing. I had a few failures

May 26 behind-the-scenes

So, Bank Holiday Monday and after a brief trip to the shops (I need milk!) it’s going to be all work, work work. Still, it’s getting me prepared for the life of  real freelancer. And luckily the weather’s a bit rubbish today, so I’m more in the mood than I was yesterday.

In the Flesh 2.04

Finally, a quick word on last night’s In The Flesh. I was really worried at one point, when it appeared to have turned into a really bad sitcom. All that stuff with Mrs Lamb (Rita Tushingham) accidentally giving the incriminating video to her neighbour, who just happened to play it when Maxine Martin was visiting was the kind of thing that was clichéd old toot back on ’70s TV. It was such embarrassingly bad plotting I was half expecting someone to open a door to find a vicar with his trousers round his ankles in a compromising position with a zombie prostitute.

Thankfully this was a small blip and the episode ended with a series of brilliant scenes, including Kieren’s moving, pleading speech over Sunday lunch, and Philip finally outing himself. Luke Newberry continues to impress as Luke but I think Stephen  Thompson is doing an incredible job in a much less grandstanding role.

The only other thing that’s really annoying me about the show at the moment is how obvious it is that Emmett J Scanlan (Simon) is incredibly irritated by his zombie contact lenses. While Luke Newberry is great keeping blinking to a minimum – making his appear “otherworldly” – Scanlan constantly looks like he’s being attacked to gnats. It’s a shame, because it’s really distracting from an otherwise solid performance.

Usual Sign-Off

• Current total: £805 (let’s make it to £1,ooo by the end of June!)

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything from 8 to 10) contact me at dave.golder@futurenet.com so I can arrange collection.

• Please, please, please leave comments below! I’m after ideas for mini-challenges, future photoshoots and how I can find enough pairs of trainers!

 

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Day 145: Original Star Tread

It’s an anomaly that defies the laws of Asics. Some Sunday Trek for the 365-day charity trainer challenge…

May 25 main

Don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here in the hinterland between Bath and Bristol it’s far too sunny to be writing a massive blog, so forgive if I don’t rattle on today.

Sunny weather truly is the enemy of productivity in my life. I’m supposed to be writing a whole bunch of freelance – some Star Trek-related for Syfy (weak inspiration for today’s photo I suppose) – as well as prepping a feature for Alzheimer’s Research UK about the Sole Of Sc-fi. I’m not getting paid for that last one, obviously – it’s to further the Sole Of Sci-Fi cause and hopefully reach more sponsors.

I hope that by having a major feature on their blog will give the Sole Of Sci-Fi some respectability as well. I’m still having massive problems trying to get any footwear companies or sellers involved. I won’t name who I’ve approached so far as that seems unfair, but so far no one seems to want to help. I’m hoping that if I can send them a link to a feature on the ARUK site that’ll convince them I’m not just trying to get free trainers out of them.

A car boot sale is imminent – within the next month – and I have tons of trainers to shift, some in very good condition, so I’m hoping for a good haul. I’ve decided half the profits will go straight to the sponsorship pot and the other half will go towards more cheap eBay trainers so I can complete the challenge. Not the route I really wanted to go down, but with some other plans not working out, it’s a valid alternative; I’m hoping that the loss by selling them on again won’t lose the total money haul too much at the end of the year. Sourcing more loans is still my preferred method, and when I leave work at the end of June I’ll have more time to devote to that.

I wore a lot of Asics in the early days of the challenge but they’ve dried up a bit lately, so it’s nice to see pair back. These actually came from a charity shop in Bath and they’re neither quite as purple (they’re actually more of a blue) or as new looking as they do in the photo (I blame the glow of the Mutura Nebula).

Hannibal 2001Oh, and for reasons too bizarre to go into, the first thing I did this morning was watch Hannibal – the 2001 film not the TV show. I’m amazed how little of it I recalled – just the, erm, meal at the end, basically. Then again, apart from that meal at the end, there’s not that much memorable about it. And Lordy, Anthony Hopkins is bad. It’s amazing to think watching this pantomime performance that he won an Oscar for playing the same character in another film. It makes me realise how brilliantly understated Mads Mikkelson is… even though I can’t understand 25% of what he’s saying (it’s not so much the accent as the mumbling and the weird incidental “noise”  – you can hardly call it music – that’s the problem).

See you tomorrow.

Usual Sign-Off

• Current total: £805 (still creeping up – wonder if I can make it to £1,ooo by the end of June?)

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything from 8 to 10) contact me at dave.golder@futurenet.com so I can arrange collection.

• Please, please, please leave comments below! I’m after ideas for mini-challenges, future photoshoots and how I can find enough pairs of trainers!

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