Words cannot express how excited I am about A Game of Thrones coming to HBO. I get chills every time I see a new teaser trailer. It looks like they did a great job capturing the mood of the books, and the cast is fantastic. Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, Mark Addy, & Lena Headey? Oh hell yeah. I don’t have HBO, but the week before A Game of Thrones starts, I’m ordering it.
A Song of Ice & Fire is by far my favorite book series. A Game of Thrones was the book that got me back into reading after high school, where I hadn’t done much reading for pleasure outside of fanfiction. But it’s been torturous. I started reading the books in early 2002 and read the first three back-to-back-to-back. After that, though, it was three years before A Feast for Crows came out, and five years later there’s still no definite release date for the fifth book, A Dance With Dragons.
I was really into the card game until 4-5 years ago, and still have a few boxes of the cards sitting on top of my bookshelf. It looks like it’s changed a good bit since then, but if I can get friends back into it I’d be all for starting up again. I’ve got the board game too, but was never able to get anyone to give it a go. And I’ve spent tons of time on forums & sites like Westeros.org, reading up on various characters/history in the books & theorizing on possible things to come. It helps to whet the appetite, but at the end of the day I think it just makes me all the more anxious for the next book.
Yes, I’m a geek. But I’m a geek with damn good taste.
So the new Spider-Man musical has been all over the news in the last week. Seems like the budget has ballooned to $65 million, and the first preview performance was littered with problems, including five stoppages that left the actors suspended above the audience. I’m not so concerned by that, seeing as it’s a preview performance a month ahead of opening, and there are bound to be issues with all the technical wizardry that goes into a production like this.
I’m more concerned by reports that the musical itself isn’t that good. I’m still not too keen on the fact that they’re supposedly revamping the history of a beloved comic book character; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it for the sake of doing something different. The plot of Spider-Man, regardless of the medium it’s portrayed in, shouldn’t be a convoluted affair. It’s Spider-Man. We all know it. We all love it. Just putting it on Broadway in a musical form is enough to make it different. But as long as “Turn Off the Dark” doesn’t feature a dance sequence with an emo Tobey Maguire, it’ll automatically be better than Spider-Man 3.
I’m sad that some of the original cast had to drop out because of the delays. I would have liked to have seen Alan Cumming as the Green Goblin & Evan Rachel Wood as Mary Jane. Still, I like the idea of Reeve Carney as Peter Parker. His band, Carney, does some good music, and although I haven’t seen him act, I can’t wait to see him in Julie Taymor’s film adaptation of The Tempest when it comes out next week.
Even though I’m not expecting it to be the greatest musical ever, I still want to trek to New York to see it. If nothing else, I think it’ll be a fun show, and one that you’d have to experience on Broadway. I don’t see it going on national tours, and any regional productions would have to be drastically toned down in order to be possible.
Here’s a 60 Minutes special on the upcoming show. I gotta say, it looks really cool, and it’s got me pretty excited.
This Friday I open “Christmas Belles” at the Rosewater Theatre in Roswell, GA. It’s a fun show about all hell breaking loose at a church in Texas on Christmas Eve. I play Justin Waverly, the interim pastor who’s trying desperately to propose to one of the daughters. I’m really enjoying the role. It’s interesting because it’s a character role, which is what I usually play, but it’s also the ingenue, which is new to me. It’s fun playing a character who talks in a strange voice and also gets a full on makeout scene.
The show runs Thursdays through Sundays from November 26-December 18. If you’re in the Atlanta area, come check it out!
My Netflix Instant Queue is packed. When I say that, what I really mean is that it’s at the 500 movie limit, because anytime I see a movie pop up in recommendations that looks like it might be interesting, I add it. It also means that a lot of the movies I end up watching are the ones that are set be removed from Instant Watch.
Yesterday, that movie was Ink (2009). I hadn’t heard anything about it, but the description intrigued me:
Late one night, a lost soul named Ink snatches 8-year-old Emma into the world of dreams. There, he hopes to use her soul to join the ranks of the evil Incubi. In the real world, Emma lies comatose, to the despair of her father, John. But the Incubi’s benevolent opposites — the Storytellers — rally to help Emma, motivating John to wage war for his daughter.
To be perfectly honest, when I added it I thought it might be an anime. Turns out, it was a really well done indie film. Moreover, it was a great example of how much you can do on a small budget. The movie only cost $250,000 to make, but if it had been made by a major studio, that number could have easily soared to $25 million by ramping up the effects.
Creative storytelling trumps just about anything in my book, including millions of dollars in special effects. And I loved the way this story was told, going back and forth between parallel worlds. The story was intriguing and touching, and the acting was really solid as well.
Now, that’s not to say the movie lacked special effects; in fact, it had some really cool ones. The Incubi looked completely badass, and the fight scenes were pretty sweet. There were a lot of nice little touches here & there that added a lot to the atmosphere.
According to IMDB, the filmmakers were unable to get a distributor, so instead they self-released in indie cinemas and on DVD/Blu-ray. But what I think is really cool is that they embraced piracy; the movie was downloaded over 400,000 times in a single week on torrent sites, which led to higher DVD/Blu-ray sales.
My friends Beau & Matt made a series of videos that aired at Dragon*Con about a pair of handpuppet janitors named Bob & Carl who clean up after the con is over, while talking about sci-fi topics. They’re really funny, and by far the best thing I’ve ever seen air on Dragon*Con TV. I thought I’d share a few of them here for my fellow geeks. You can also check them out on Facebook or Twitter.
Dragon*Con 2010 has come & gone, so I figure it’s time for a little wrap up. I forgot to purchase my pass ahead of time, so I just ended up buying the 2-day Saturday/Sunday pass (although I did go ahead and preregister for next year while it’s cheap.) And also per usual, I didn’t go in costume, although I keep telling myself that one of these days I will. I did, however, take lots of photos.
We ended up playing a few games while we were there. The first was the Photobomb game, where I’d take pictures of cosplayers while one of my friends stood in the background making weird faces.
The other game was Jayne Hat Punch Buggy, courtesy of my friend Nate. It’s like the classic game, except you punch your friend whenever you spot someone wearing a Jayne hat. Despite losing terribly, Freeze decided to buy a hat to commemorate the occasion.
I didn’t go to too many panels, and the ones I did tended to be smaller ones (I’ve had my fill of waiting in line for an hour.) I checked out three writing panels of varying quality, an independent film panel on using your DSLR for filmmaking (which I intend to do for my next short), and a Gargoyles panel featuring Jonathan Frakes & Marina Sirtis.
And now, a few choice photos:
Here’s another digital short that I recently put online! There Will Be Movie Rentals is another There Will Be Bloodparody I shot with The Flaws last year (along with There Will Be Coffee.) I tried to shoot it shot-for-shot to mirror the final scene of the movie. Check it out & give it some funny votes on Funny or Die! Thanks!
Well, it was announced this week that Heroes is officially canceled. This doesn’t come as any surprise, considering how the show’s performance has steadily declined over the last few seasons, along with the quality of the show in general. I’ve heard a lot of people say that it was good that NBC finally put it out of its misery, but this is where I disagree. Yes, Heroes fell a long way since its amazing first season, but I’ve always believed it would just take one good kick to get it back on track.
Why? Because for all its flaws, Heroes has a great core concept, and a nice assortment of interesting characters. And although some of them got completely lost in the shuffle last season (Mohinder) and others spent the season spinning in circles accomplishing nothing (pretty much everyone except Noah), what makes the characters cool is still there: Peter has an unmatched sense of duty, Hiro longs to be a real hero, and Sylar is just plain cool.
I guess I never really felt the show had lost its edge until the last season. While lots of people lost faith in the show after season one, I actually liked seasons two and three for the most part (though I still wish they hadn’t stripped Peter of all his powers.) They weren’t as strong as the first and they certainly had their lulls, but I still enjoyed them. But season four? I think I continued to watch out of obligation to a show I’d become attached to, hoping it would get better.
The problem wasn’t necessarily the general arc of the season. The idea of Samuel and the carnival was really cool and had potential. The real issue was with the characters themselves. They spent six episodes or more accomplishing tasks which should have taken one or two. In essence, season four was the season of tail chasing. Hiro, Parkman, and Claire somehow spent the entire season running in circles. While each had things that needed to be done, it took them so long I’d sometimes forget if the episode I was watching was actually a rerun. Claire also suffered the most from unclear motivations for her actions. She seemed to turn on a dime and make rash decisions for no apparent reason. It got really annoying after a while.
I really hope there ends up being some kind of wrap up to the show, because the way the series ended isn’t a fitting conclusion. Maybe the idea is there (Claire revealing their existence to the world, redemption for Sylar, closure for Hiro), but too many characters didn’t have a solid wrap up (hell, Mohinder wasn’t even in the finale.) Again, all the elements are there for them to do something great, they just have to grab it by the horns and do it. That’s why a feature film or TV movie would be ideal. They would have a set amount of time to wrap everything up, which would eliminate the wheel spinning that plagued season four. They could focus on a solid story that gives a good, cathartic end to the series and its characters. Considering how strong the show was when it started, that’s something it deserves.