Showing 1 - 10 of 16 posts found matching keyword: six flags

In hindsight, do I watch a lot of movies about death?

39/2048. Death on the Nile (2022)
There's a lot in this that sequel to The Orient Express that will feel not quite right to hardcore Christie fans, but I was more bothered by the CGI used to replicate 1930s Cairo than the anachronistic cultural mores or addition of Poirot's backstory. Don't get me wrong, I still liked it and would definitely keep watching Kenneth Branagh Poirot movies.

40/2049. The End (1978)
In this blackest of comedies, Burt Reynolds plays a man so afraid of pain that he is determined to kill himself before his terminal disease can. When this film works, it's usually because of Burt's natural charm, though it does squeeze some good comedy bits from very real human situations. (I found the third act slapstick to be too broad given the dark matter that preceded it. Your mileage — and tolerance of Dom DeLuise's over-the-top antics — may vary.)

Drink Coke! (The End)
Drink Coke and die!

41/2050. The Green Knight (2021)
The classic legend is about a knight on a quest to have his head chopped off, but this modern telling is more acid trip than road trip. Every line of dialog only makes the story more confusing. It might be more tolerable if it wasn't all filmed in a dark forest without lighting. Blech.

42/2051. The New Mutants (2020)
Whenever someone wonders what "studio interference" is, point them to this movie. The writer and director were very clearly using trying to make a horror film about adolescence and sexual awakening, but the studio wanted more traditional superhero fare. The actors seem completely confused (disinterested?) about what they're supposed to be doing, and the result *is* a nightmare, just not one that anyone would want to see.

43/2052. Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off (2022)
The old footage and glowing interviews about Hawk's early days are cool. Unfortunately, Hawk is unable or unwilling to examine his adult life outside of the world of skating, so in the end, he seems almost a victim rather than a champion, especially as the story ends wallowing on his inevitable physical decline. Was the intention of this documentary to make him a martyr?

44/2053. Closed for Storm (2020)
Another documentary, this time about the doomed New Orleans Jazzland theme park, from its conception to its destruction by Katrina to its abandonment by Six Flags to New Orleans' continued inability to do anything with it's remains. Honestly, it's the last part that I found most interesting because that was when the film veered from mere morbid nostalgia to something bordering on political activism against corrupt governance. Rage against the dying of the light, indeed. Of course I liked it.

More to come.

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Is this a little late for April Fools Day? Yes, it is. But I just got my power back after an unexpected storm caused considerable problems for my neighborhood on Tuesday. (Out like a lamb my ass.)

Anyway, a little holiday appropriate fooling around with Weird Al.

And a YouTube link, in case you don't see the embed above.

Hmm. I have his version of Peter and the Wolf around here somewhere. Oh, there it is.

Yes, I have a football on my nightstand

Al and I go way back. I first heard In 3-D — still my favorite Al-bum — while at summer day camp at Stone Mountain Park. (Which may be why "Nature Trail To Hell" remains one of my favorite tracks.) My brother gave me "Weird Al" Yankovic, his debut album, as a present in 1985. (I suspect that Mom and/or Dad actually bought it, probably at the Turtle's on Memorial Drive.) Polka Party came to me as a 11th birthday present at Six Flags Over Georgia. (It is the only thing I remember about that party, and possibly the only good experience I associate with that park.) And I spent weekends in 1989 recording lip-syncing videos to the UHF soundtrack. (I've written about my love for UHF before.)

My brother worked for a Hollywood agent for a few years after college in the 20-aughts, and the only celebrity that he met that made me star struck about was Weird Al. Trey bumped into in line at the post office. Trey had very nice things to say about both David Duchovny and Allison Janney, but that Weird Al goes to the post office himself makes him a bigger star in my book.

Keep on being weird, Al.

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Tuesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that a former US Marine Staff Sergeant who lost his legs to an IUD was kicked off a roller coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia because it's against their policy to let people without legs ride. With all due respect to the Marine's service, I have to side with Six Flags here. No one should ride any of their rides no matter how many legs they have.

The Staff Sergeant was trying to ride the Mind Bender, a 40-year old roller coaster. Back in my day, it was brown. Now it's green, because while Six Flags won't let a Marine ride their coaster, they have no problem rebranding it for a super villain. Oh, wait. Maybe those two things go together.

This bad press comes at a bad time. It just so happens that Six Flags Over Georgia is debuting their newest coaster, the Twisted Cyclone, this Saturday. The Twisted Cyclone will be the 16th coaster in the park's history. So far, only three of those coasters have killed people. (According to Wikipedia, the Mild Bender has merely sent four people to the hospital. Pfft.)

In Six Flags' defense — a phrase I thought I would never type — there is precedent for them to believe they should enforce their legless ban despite what would appear to be a clear case of a rider opting-in to assumption of risk. (That's a legal term. Look it up.) In 2011, another legless veteran who also lost his legs to an IUD died after falling out of a coaster in Darien Lake, New York. His family ultimately won a million dollar settlement when state regulators declared the park negligent because ride operators let him ride the coaster despite having no legs. Hmm. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

The interesting footnote (ha, ha) to this story is that on the same day the AJC published its article, Six Flags announced that they are purchasing Darien Lake. Re-purchasing, actually. Six Flags owned the park for most of the 2000s until shortly after Katrina quite literally sank their organization. It's only natural that they should want Darien Lake back. They love coasters that kill people.

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Six Flags, the United Airlines of theme parks, is getting an early start this year. It's still spring, and already they've got trouble. This time, the broken ride was the Joker's Jinx at Six Flags America leaving 24 riders stuck for 3 hours.

It seems like just last year that I was railing against Six Flag's themed rides that glorify a psychopathic serial mass murderer. My opinion hasn't changed. You mess with the Joker, you get murdered. Or stuck 100 feet in the air for hours, whichever comes first.

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Six Flags Over Georgia has blown the doors off entertainment by announcing their new ride for 2017, Justice League: Battle for Metropolis! Riders will get to help Batman and the Justice League chase down and defeat an animatronic Joker.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution describes it thusly:

"Riders will travel in six-passenger vehicles on a track through rooms in the 'Hall of Justice,' but the motion of the vehicle allows them to enter into a 3-D and even 4-D world."

To be clear, the park isn't in Flatland. Any rider who can ride this ride exists in a 3D world with length, width, and depth. I would think that anyone writing for a major metropolitan newspaper would know that. Clark Kent sure does. (As for a "4-D world," if you can't figure out what a 3D world is, I don't think I care to hear your theory of either spacetime or Euclidean geometry.)

To give credit to Six Flags, that statement wasn't in the original press release. The press release was much more interested in promoting the ride as "debuting one of the world's best innovative and interactive attractions" for the park's 50th anniversary.

That's an interesting use of the word "debut." Identical versions of the ride are already operational at Six Flags Great America and Six Flags Over Texas, with other copies planned for Six Flags Great Adventure and Six Flags Magic Mountain in 2017. What better way to celebrate 50 years in business than to providing the exact same shitty experience as you can get a half dozen other parks!

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News outlets reported earlier this week that Six Flag Great Adventure had to shut down its newest coaster after riders were stuck for hours. Those riders should be glad that they only got stuck. They were lucky they weren't killed. But maybe that's what they wanted. After all, they were riding a coaster named for a mass murderer.

Six Flags, which has a contract with Warner Brothers to use Looney Tunes and DC Comics licensed properties, has a history of trouble on their Superman themed rides. But at least those rides are named for a hero. The ride that broke this week is named for Batman's nemesis, the Joker, a character with a reputation for killing his own henchmen because he thinks its funny.

Why would you name an amusement park ride after a mass murderer, fictional or otherwise? Despite what the Joker preaches, murder isn't fun! Would you willingly ride the Hannibal Lechter Transport or the Patrick Bateman HyperCoaster? What about riding the Ted Bundy Experience? Eating at the Jeffry Dahmer Cafe? Shopping at the Ed Gein Gift Shop? Would you let your kids?

Hey, Six Flags, just because a character appears in comic books doesn't make him kid friendly. Using a despicable character to build your brand just because he has "name recognition" is the worst kind of crass consumerism that American culture has to offer. If you care so little about context, perhaps you'd welcome having all television police procedurals refer to murder as a "code six flags." Hey, at least that would get your name in front of millions of viewers in prime time. That's all you really care about, right?

I certainly don't want roller coaster riders maimed or injured, but if you get on the Six Flags' Mass Murder Machine, you can't be surprised when it strands you to die in an uncomfortable position. You knew what it was when you got on it.

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I'm not the only one who hates Six Flags. Mother Nature seems to be holding a grudge, too. First Hurricane Katrina submerged Six Flags New Orleans, and now a forest has fallen on Six Flags Magic Mountain.

USA Today reports that "a branch" — later confirmed to be a whole tree — fell at Magic Mountain in California and derailed The Ninja on Monday. The Ninja is a suspended coaster, meaning that the cars are suspended below the tracks. The ride has been in operation since 1988, and I could find reports on only one other serious accident involving the coaster: a man was hospitalized in 2008 after ignoring security fences around the ride in an attempt to recover his hat. Six Flags can't be blamed for that kind of stupid (although it is the sort of crowd the park attracts).

Thankfully, no one was killed in this latest fiasco, but four were injured. The LA Times reports that two of those four riders are now suing the park for "neglect." I've been to Six Flags' parks, and I think they have a strong case.

The rides are subject to regular inspection under California state law, but how often is Six Flags doing any inspection of the surrounding trees? If they aren't paying anyone to pick up trash, how likely is it that they're paying to have the trees trimmed?

It's no secret that I have an axe to grind with Six Flags. Visiting Magic Mountain was the worst amusement park experience of my life (so long as I don't count that time my date flirted with every guy who wasn't me during a trip to Six Flags Over Georgia). But I have to give them credit for solving one of the world's greatest riddles. If a tree falls on a Ninja in the woods, it does indeed make quite a sound!

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Six Flags strikes again! A woman was killed yesterday at Six Flags Over Texas when the Texas Giant roller coaster restraint system failed. She fell up to 14 stories to her death. On the surface, that sounds terrible. But at least she doesn't have to spend any more time in a Six Flags park.

The Dallas Morning News reports that there was some question of whether the seat restraint had locked before the train left the station. Photos circulated of the doomed woman make her look on the large side, and most coasters aren't designed to accommodate someone the size of an average American in 2013. The ride operator was described as nonchalant about the possibility of malfunction, which could just as easily describe any employee at a Six Flags park.

It's been more than 20 years since I went to a Six Flags park that wasn't understaffed or under maintained. Generally, their employees act like they don't want to be there. That doesn't give visitors like me much reason to want to be there, either. If the people most familiar with a park aren't amused by it, what are guests going to think?

I've been discussing going to an amusement park with some old friends later this summer, and our cruise director has been trying to get us to go to Six Flags Great America in New Jersey. I have been resisting that plan, mainly because I want to have fun when I go to a park. It's hard enough to have fun in New Jersey. If you have to go that way, I don't recommend handicapping the experience further by going to Six Flags.

If there is any bright side to this story, it's that the Texas Giant coaster isn't Superman-themed. It's a refreshing change of pace for 2013 to hear that Superman is not killing people.

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Overheard on my local newscast: "I don't think Superman is going to want his name on this ride any longer." Oops, he did it again.

That comment was in reference to a malfunction on the brand new roller coaster at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California. An unlucky dozen riders were left stranded high on a twisted track for an hour this weekend. As you should be able to guess by now, the coaster in question is a Superman-themed coaster, the ironically-named Superman: Ultimate Flight.

Clearly, the newsreader was not a visitor. As my well-informed readers already know, you should never, ever get on a Superman-themed thrill ride in a Six Flags park. At least this time, Superman didn't maim or kill anyone. You should count yourself lucky if you're mistreated by Superman and all you get is a little dehydrated.

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Those of you with long memories (and iron stomachs) will recall that back on June 22, 2007, I blogged about a 13 year-old girl who was made a paraplegic on a Superman ride at a Six Flags amusement park in Kentucky. Now a different Superman ride in New York has stepped up to finish the job.

One week ago today, a paraplegic Army Sergeant was thrown from the Ride of Steel roller coaster in Darian Lake Theme Park in New York state. The soldier, who had lost his legs in an explosion in the ongoing Iraq War, was thrown from the coaster when the lap bar restraint -- designed to fit securely over his non-existent thighs -- surprisingly failed to restrain him. When Iraqi insurgents are unable to kill someone, it sounds like a job for Superman!

According to published reports, the soldier's sister told reporters, "that minute he was on that ride, he probably felt the happiest and most normal he's felt in three-and-a-half years...." Of course, in the seconds afterwards, when he was thrown from the ride onto the track and struck by a steel coaster moving 50 MPH, he probably wished he was back in Iraq. With all due apologies to his family, it must have been a real roller coaster of emotion.

It will come as no surprise that in 1999 when the coaster was built, Darian Lake was a Six Flags park and the Ride of Steel was originally named Superman: The Ride of Steel. The park was sold in 2006, but that only proves that you can take the park away from Six Flags, but you can't take the Six Flags out of the park.

This isn't the first time that a Superman Ride of Steel coaster has killed. There were three such coasters built for Six Flags parks in 1999/2000, one in New York, one in Massachusetts, and one in Maryland. The Ride of Steel in Massachusetts killed a man in 2004. The Ride of Steel in Maryland hasn't killed anyone. Yet. Don't let your guard down, Maryland: Superman coasters are killers, and disaster can strike faster than a speeding bullet.

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To be continued...


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