Saturday, December 29, 2007
Could they be anymore vague? That pretty much leaves the door open for anything to happen. I'm not sure what to expect but considering the first movie with Jean-Claude Van Damme this version has nowhere to go but up. (Not that I didn't enjoy its cheesiness).
Ming-Na did a really good portrayal of Chin-Li so I'm hoping that Kreuk can take the the character to a new level and give her a fresh depth.
Either way, come 2009 I'll definitely be seeing this movie in theaters. What about you???
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Futurama had a lot of the goofy cartoony humor that the Simpsons were already known for, but the show was also able to establish its own voice. In addition to poking fun at the well-used devices of science fiction and intricacies of the world today, the show effectively used dramatic moments between the characters in a way that the Simpsons did not. Some of the storylines between Fry and Leela as well as Wong and Kiff was touching and credible in ways that some live actions shows couldn’t come close to.
The show was never really able to stand on its feet though. Fox first put it in Sundays, then shuffled it around and eventually dropped it entirely halfway through its fourth season. Fan support kept it from dying though, and it survived on Cartoon Network and Comedy Central in reruns.
All Hail Hypnotoad!
Now jump ahead to two weeks ago in my local video store. Futurama: Bender’s Big Score was sitting on the shelves; I remembered reading that Futurama was coming back as a straight-to-DVD movie, but I didn’t know anything beyond that. Of course I rented it.
The movie is definitely worth seeing by anyone who liked the show (if you really really liked the show, go ahead and buy it) and it is even jam packed with winks and nods and dangling plot threads from the series for fans to remember fondly. Because of this, there’s a lot going on. Hang on and enjoy the ride nonetheless.
The Planet Express crew makes a delivery to a nude beach planet and a tattoo is discovered on Fry’s rear end. The crew is then tricked by nudist scammer aliens who take over Planet Express and use the code on the tattoo to send Bender through time to steal treasures from the past. Meanwhile, Hermes’ body is destroyed and his head is placed in a jar until it can be replaced. Additionally, Leela meets and is romanced by another man and because of this, Fry decides to go back to the past to live out his life. Deciding to keep Fry out of the picture permanently, the nudist aliens send Bender back to kill him and all kinds of wackiness ensues.
There is a lot of time travel going on in this movie and I am very surprised how the writers kept track of everything. They seriously must have had a giant flow chart on the wall where they could graph out all the comings and goings. It all works though and everything that is used is wrapped up at some point in the story.
There was one plot point that I figured out, though I have to admit that I thought of it, then dismissed it, then said “aha” when it was revealed at the end of the movie. Though common decency prevents me from spoiling it here, I’ll let you know that it involves Leela’s handsome suitor.
Bender’s Big Score is definitely worth a look, fans of the series will see just about everything they liked in the show and newcomers should enjoy it as well as long as they can keep track of everything that’s going on. So come for the story, but stay for Fry, Bender, Nibbler, Leela, Amy, Nudar, Professor Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg, Hypnotoad, the Harlem Globetrotter Scientists, two narwhals, gratuitous nudity, Al Gore, golden Death Stars, Torgo’s powder, Mark Hamill, Zapp Brannigan, Richard Nixon’s head in a jar, Seymour, Barbados Slim, the Box Network, Elzar, owls, suicide booths, hellacious space battles, Scruffy, sewer mutants, pizza deliveries, robot gangsters, Olympic-class limbo, Robot Santa, and everything else you loved from Futurama.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Um, (pointing to left side of face....) you have a little lipstick smeared right around here.... That's not a Harley is it? Mmmm, Christian Bale. I thought purple suits went out with Prince.... Robert over at Fantasy Book Critic has THREE awesome book giveaways going on right now. He's giving away three sets of Charlie Huston's Joe Pitt series, one set of David Gemmell's "Troy" trilogy and three copies of Anne McCaffrey/Todd McCaffrey's "Dragon Harper." I am also giving away a copy of "Darwin's Paradox" on my Book Review Blog, so check that one out as well!
Monday, December 03, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
-Ryan Reynolds: He's had guest appearances on The Outer Limits, The X-Files and Sabrina, The Teenage Witch. But we best remember his sarcastic charm and rock hard body in Blade: Trinity. Here's to hoping he sinks his teeth into another juicy SF role.
-Brad Pitt: Who can forget Pitt's portrayal of Louis de Pointe du Lacthe in Interview With The Vampire? And back then, before Brangelina, his kiss with a young Kirsten Dunst was the talk of the town.
-James McAvoy: He brought to life C.S. Lewis' beloved Mr. Tummus, the faun, in the film adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. So that makes him our favorite mythological stud.
-Johnny Depp: He's been Ichabod Crane, Edward Scissorhands, Captain Jack Sparrow and Willy Wonka. What's not to enjoy about Depp's quirky characters?
-Will Smith: How many times has Will Smith saved the world? I've lost count. He's the actor we turn to when our planet is in big trouble. Next up on the save the universe tour is I AM LEGEND.
-Shemar Moore: He was that hunky guy on the short-lived WB series Birds of Prey. And he's my personal favorite on the list.
-Ben Affleck: He's no Spiderman. But this Daredevil had enough charm to catch Jennifer Garner. And the only thing cooler than their onscreen chemistry is the soundtrack which gave us Evanescence's "Bring Me To Life".
-Will Yun Lee: This season Lee's doing best to make The Bionic Woman live long enough to get picked up next year but he's no stranger to SF/Fantasy. Earlier this year he was a kick-butt angel in the ABC Family mini-series Fallen. And you if actually saw Elektra, then you're remember him from that. He's a good actor, I just hope he gets better SF roles.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The winners of "The Cipher" giveaway are:
Charles Gramlich of Abita Springs Louisiana
Melissa Markham of Virginia
Congratulations Charles and Melissa! Send me your addresses and I make sure the books are on their way to you soon.
Sorry I don't have copies for everyone, but I am going to have another giveaway tomorrow-- so come back and see what's up for grabs then!
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I am so happy! Diana Pharaoh Francis has graciously offered two copies of her book The Cipher to giveaway. Read my review of "The Cipher" for more information on the book, and then enter to win!
Just leave a comment here, or email me to enter. I will pick two winners by Tuesday November 13th.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Ah profanity. I'm having a bit of an issue with it these days. My three-year-old son has decided that the word s**t is an essential part of his vocabulary these days and I'm having a heck of a time getting him to understand that it's not exactly an appropriate word for him. We may be moving on to soap very soon.
My son's recent fascination with four letter words has had profanity on my mind recently, and then I stumbled across this most excellent post on Joe Abercrombie's blog. For those who don't know who Joe is, I have a review of Joe's book, "The Blade Itself" on my book-review blog. One thing "The Blade Itself" had kind of become known for is the prolific use of profanity in the book. Joe addresses part of the issue in this way:
There was an interesting discussion of this very issue (which again started with a reading of The Blade Itself , blast my potty-mouth again) over at SFFWorld a while back. Some of the objections raised to swearing there were: that these are 'modern' swear-words out of context in a 'ye olde' fantasy setting, that you're better off making up a culture-specific oath like 'by the holy orb of Zalxoz I will destroy thee!', that you can just make up your own non-offensive word to substitute for the evil English creations (like BSGs frel, for example). ((it was noted by readers of Joe's blog that BSG's swear word of choice is frak))
So allow me to viciously destroy this straw-man I have myself created, by repeating parts of the post I made there:
The notion that 'folks all spoke nice in them old days' is entirely a Victorian invention. The three words that I believe we are chiefly talking about here (F**K, S**T, and C**T, forgive my euphemisms) are all words with long and proud traditions in the English language, going back hundreds of years.
Of course, fantasy is not history. Fantasies can include all kinds of different elements corresponding to different time periods. Furthermore, even if we are describing a pseudo-medieval setting, no-one could pretend that we are writing for a medieval audience. As I see it, an author has to select the mode of expression which he feels best communicates his meaning, or the meaning of his characters, to a reader of modern English. It's a question of judgement, and, as with the explicitness of sex or violence in a book, every author will find his own way, and different readers will have their own unique response.
For me, as a reader, I find complicated oaths (by the holy beard of Swarfega etc.) to be unconvincing (and often truly risible) unless very well integrated into some specific element of a fantasy culture, and even then they are rarely a good substitute for a simple S**T in times of high excitement. When I stub my toe I very rarely reach for a culture-specific mouthful such as, "by the golden boots of David Beckham!" or some such.
Isn't that great? There is more to the post, just click on the link to read more of what Abercrombie has to say.
Profanity in entertainment fascinates me to some degree. I remember when I watched "Pulp Fiction" for the first time and the use of the "N-word" blew me away. That is a word that has been so taboo in our culture that I just couldn't believe it was thrown out there so casually. But then that's kind of Tarantino's thing isn't it? Shocking the audience through the use of coarse language and extreme violence? I often wonder what the movie would have been like without those elements and whether or not it would have been so good.
The debate over language [as well as violence] in entertainment isn't a new one. I don't believe in censorship for the basic reason that I wouldn't trust anyone to decide what I should see or read. But I do think that over-use of profane language can dull the impact. Abercrombie even said that perhaps he had been a bit liberal with the use of profanity in his book and I have to admit that I agree. Even the N-word in "Pulp Fiction" lost its edge before the movie was even over. At times I even find myself looking for entertainment that is a bit easier on my sensibilities, kind of like a breather, or palate cleanser for my brain.
Maybe I'm just being a bit puritanical. Though it would be nice if my son would stop swearing.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Video games and movies. They seem the perfect fit. Yet, too often as not, games based on film are little more than a bit of fluff advertising. One example? "Fantastic Four" (shudder, shudder...one shudder for the game and one for the movie).
However there have been other games such as "Chronicles of Riddick" and "King Kong" that were probably more engaging and more entertaining than the film. Fortunately, the movie-game tie-in seems to be improving. Some of these games are even released years later than the film, there the goal isn't to pump audiences to slap down money for tickets, but rather to trade in on a filmgoer's memory. Love the "Godfather"? Play the game. Bond? "From Russia With Love" was an amazing experience for gamers and it even featured voice overs from the master himself: Sean Connery.
Enter: "I Am Legend". Warner Brothers has been hyping the heck out of this project. Of course, they desperately want the film version of Richard Matheson's book to hit one out of the ballpark, so one approaches the game with suspicion, especially since it's free and basically a promo for the film.
"I Am Legend" is a flash based online game. That means all you have to do is go to this website to play: http://iamlegendsurvival.com
Of course, you first have to register and get a password. Once you do this you are part of a gaming community and can travel through some pretty impressive renditions of the city, playing versions of capture the flag and causing mayhem wherever you wander. If the name Second Life seems familiar, it's because they are the people who run a fairly successful online environment where people adapt avatars and engage each other. It's sort of like "The Sims" meets......well...people who have little better to do with their lives than experience social interaction through an avatar. Get a life people.
"I am Legend" itself seems a quick diversion, and somewhat addictive. Real gamers, and I mean people who waited with baited breath for "Halo 3" or who understand that "Unreal" and "Gears of War" and the upcoming "Resident Evil 5" are important contributions to a national gaming psyche, will probably steer clear of this. However, I suspect that people looking for a fast gaming experience that isn't totally life consuming will be able to have a good time, keeping in mind, of course, that you are playing a giant commercial.
It ain't "World of Warcraft" and hopefully you won't try marrying another person online , but I'd give it a peek...if only to prep yourself a bit for a film that promises to be worth a second glance.
And besides..the game is free.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I've been expecting some books for the last week or so, but they've been slow in coming. I did finally get a couple this morning and I'm looking for some help with the reviews.
First I have Worlds Apart. It's an anthology of Russian fantasy and sci-fi.
Slaves of Shinar by Justin Allen. This one seems to be getting pretty good reviews at Amazon so it's probably an enjoyable read.
If anyone is interested in these leave a comment or email me and I'll send them off to anyone who wouldn't mind saying a few words about them for me on the book review blog.
I do expect to get some more titles soon and I'm sure I'll be needing some more help-- so keep an eye out.