Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sleeper Casting

I recently read Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' Sleeper for the first time, and man did I love it. It's a beautifully dark noir crime story with fabulous characters that happen to have superhero-like abilities. I'm not big on traditional superhero stuff, so this was right up my alley. As I'm reading it, of course I'm thinking, 'Man, this would be a GREAT movie,' and low and behold, it's in preproduction with Tom Cruise as the lead, to which I say UGH...

So anywho, this is my take on what would be an awesome Sleeper cast.

Nathan Fillion as Holden Carver

I know that at this point it's hard to disassociate Nathan Fillion with the Whedon-verse, but dammit, let's try and maybe he can get some more awesome roles. I know Holden is supposed to be this big tough military trained operative, but he's also got a whole heck of a lot going on behind the scenes and the actor who plays him really needs to be able to master both of those aspects. I think if Fillion bulked up and got all lean looking (like he was in Saving Private Ryan) he'd have the perfect combination of toughness, sassiness, and genuineness.

Lake Bell as Miss Misery

The only thing I really know this chick from is What Happens in Vegas (which was less of a train wreck than I had anticipated) and she was pretty funny in it. I have a feeling that for Miss Misery, Hollywood's going to want a very bombshell-looking actress (like Megan Fox or Angelina Jolie), but I think Lake Bell has this great look that really works for the character. She's not super girly looking, and she has really strong features, and I always got the feeling that Misery's sexiness really came from her strength and persona, so steering towards a more unconventional look could make this character really pop on screen (you know the opposite of what Malin Ackerman did for Watchmen).

Kevin Durand as Genocide Jones

Okay, so I love me some Kevin Durand. He's always been in random stuff, but ever since his role on Lost I'm totally smitten. Genocide needs to be this big, tough, macho bad-ass, but he's totally lovable. I think as opposed to someone like Ray Stevenson (new Punisher) or Vinnie Jones, Durand has this sort of sweetness to his tough guy look, and that would make you really care for the character.

Ian Somerhalder as TAO

Yeah, it's another boy from Lost. So shoot me. But I've been a big fan of Ian since Rules of Attraction, and that character is why I think he would be fantastic as TAO. He needs to be charming, trustworthy, evil and completely manipulative all at the same time, as well as being insanely smart and bad ass. He needs to be young but have the wisdom and air of someone much older, and since Somerhalder is currently being all vampire-y, I'm sure he's had some practice at that.

Bruce Greenwood as John Lynch

So the only thing I knew this guy from was Star Trek (then on his IMDB page I learned he was also the president in National Treasure 2, which I kinda really liked) but there's something about him that totally seems like Lynch to me. He needs to have been able to gain Holden's trust while still be kinda scary and dark, which he's got this nice little face that I'm sure combined with the crazy ass scar would play great to both of those characteristics.

Paul Dano as XXX-Ray

I'm not entirely sure how old XXX-Ray is supposed to be, so this casting might be too young, but oh well. However I do know that Ray is a little dude with a special talent, and is totally nerve-wracked and anxious. Dano was a great dork in Girl Next Door and he did an amazing job in Little Miss Sunshine (I haven't seen There Will Be Blood yet. I know, I'm ashamed). But anywho, he seems to have the acting chops to go to all the dark places Ray needs to go. And he's sweet and innocent looking, which'll just make it all the more heartbreaking.

Christina Hendricks as Veronica St. James

Yeah, she was in Firefly as well, I don't care, it proves that she's already got chemistry with Nathan Fillion, which is really necessary since her role isn't ginormous. But Veronica really needs to be the opposite of Miss Misery--beautiful, soft, law-abiding, but still very strong, just in a different way. And it was my impression that she was probably a little older and more mature than Misery as well. And not to spoil anything, but Hendricks and Bell would be a lovely combination of ladies for that final scene, right?

Eric Christian Olsen as Grifter

Okay, so I'm pretty sure he's too young to be Grifter, but scruff him up and I think it will be fine. For Grifter, I know the actor is going to need to be tough and cool, but I think that he needs to be kinda funny and light at heart in order to really feel for Grifter. And I must say, I love Olsen. He's so precious. Most everything I've seen him in is really funny and goofy, but his resume seems to show potential for serious acting. I like it.

Bryan Cranston as Peter Grimm

Okay, I had a really hard time with this one, which is really why I saved it for last cause I'm pretty damn proud of it. I went through like, 6 other people before he popped in my head, and I was like, yes! He was wonderful on Malcolm in the Middle and though I've only seen the first few episodes of Breaking Bad (please don't spoil anything!), I know he totally deserves those Emmys. I can totally see him scaring the shit out of everyone but still having a flair about him that makes him lovable in a Heath-Ledger-Joker kind of way. It would be glorious.

So yeah. That's my cast. The real life cast will probably be absolutely nothing like this.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Favorite Movies of the 00's

I didn't even really think about 2009 being the end of a decade until all these 'best of' lists started floating around, and I'm still a little weirded out that the past 10 years are going to be viewed as one cohesive unit. It really doesn't feel like it should. Anywho, I was reading many of those best of movie lists and I got to thinking about all my favorite movies. I tried to make a nice little concise list, but that didn't happen. Also, I watch a lot of movies but not near as many as I'd like to, so this list is probably wildly incomplete/inaccurate. So anyways, here are my favorite 40 films from the past decade (and please note I said favorite, not best)....

28 Days Later (2002)

Across the Universe (2007)

Almost Famous (2000)

The Brothers Bloom (2008)

Things I Want That Do Not Exist Yet

So I love kid's music, not all of it, but the really good stuff (a lot of it is pretty grating on the ears). I've worked in three different toy stores as well as having been a camp counselor on several occasions so I've probably listened to way more children's music than most people my age. My favorite stuff though, comes from regular grown up musicians like Barenaked Ladies and They Might Be Giants, as well as musical off-the-wall cartoon stuff like Animaniacs. So here are a few people who I would love to have record a kid's album
Eddie Izzard

I've been a huge Eddie Izzard fan since I saw his comedy special Dressed to Kill on HBO back in high school. My friends and I quoted that show for years, and still do on occasion. He has a great stage presence and his humor is very smart, which is always refreshing. And after having seen his performance of 'Benefit of Mr. Kite' in Across the Universe, I realized he totally has the potential to do more musical stuff. I think an Izzard album for kids would be fun, energetic, educational and total wacky. It would be fabulous.
Ellen Degeneres

I'm really happy that Ellen has become as successful as she has, mainly because I really enjoy her comedy (she's hilarious without having to be dirty or provocative) and I love the fact that an openly gay lady has a wildly popular daytime talk show. So yeah, I think she's great. I'm not so sure about her singing abilities, but she performed 'Shoop' by Salt n'Peppa, and that was pretty great. Plus, kids know her from Finding Nemo, so they'd already be on board.
Richard Cheese

I didn't know anything about this guy until I saw Zach Synder's remake of Dawn of the Dead which contained that fabulous cover of 'Down with the Sickness.' I then had to go out and download every song I could find by Richard Cheese and I was totally hooked. He has the ability to take songs I either don't like or find boring and make them super fun. I have a feeling that if challenged to do the same thing to traditional children's music, the results would be phenomenal.

I'm not a huge Weezer fan or anything, but I really like the singles they put out and they seem to be a fun type of group. One of the reasons I really like the albums from Barenaked Ladies and They Might Be Giants is they're not children's artists. It doesn't feel like they're pandering or playing simplified music; they do what they're best at, and just slightly change the sound and use fun, kid-friendly lyrics. I think Weezer would do the same thing, and it would be something that kids would love, and parents wouldn't want to rip their ears off. And really all kid's music should be that way.

So if any of you have any connections, drop some hints. Maybe we can get more fun, educational, zany tunes out there.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Why I Like Parks & Rec More Than The Office

Okay, so here's how it goes. First I watched the British The Office, which I absolutely loved; then I decided to give the American The Office a chance, and at first I hated it, but as it slowly started to take a different course than the BBC version, I started liking it, but I've been feeling less and less compelled by it over the past couple of seasons. Last season, I gave Parks and Recreation a chance, and at first I wasn't sure about it, but I'm glad I kept watching because I freaking love this show now.

The thing is though, at first, Parks & Rec seemed so much like The Office that I was sure it would also fall into the path of suck, but it didn't, and I think I know why.

Stuff to consider about The Office:

-Originally the most compelling thing about the show was the super touching relationship between Jim and Pam and getting to be a part of all of those little moments. That was all well and good and really emotional, but now they've got their happy ending. Yes, the reveal of the pregnancy was really nice, and the wedding episode ended up being awesome, but it's not the same type of heart breaking, gut wrenching forbidden love that once existed between these two characters. I'm really happy that they're together, but story wise, I'm a little bored with them now.

-Michael Scott is one of the hardest characters to watch on TV. That has always been the case, but the thing is, eventually he needs to change. I know that this show is supposed to be like real life, and sometimes people who are like him never change and suck their whole life, but as a viewer there's a point where I just don't give a shit anymore. He does these things that are not only awful to watch him do, but they're starting to have a negative effect on the people around him. He's not funny, he's not likable, he's sad and pathetic, and there's only so much of that I can take.

-It used to be that Dwight was a big weirdo and Jim and Pam would mess with him, and that was really funny. But slowly it seems like everyone in the office is becoming a big weirdo, and sometimes they are funny and sometimes not so much. And why did Jim and Pam invite all of them to the wedding? They should know by now how ridiculous these people are, and I know Michael's feelings would be hurt, but IT'S YOUR DAMN WEDDING. Don't invite the painfully weird awkward guy.

So yeah. The reason these things all piss me off so much is because I saw the BBC version first, and they did their shit right.

-First off, it only lasted 2 seasons of 6 episodes each and then there was a big Christmas special at the end. So as for the relationship between Tim and Dawn (Jim and Pam), it was intense. Imagine all those tough moments to watch back in the early days of the American Office and multiply them by ten. And without ruining anything, the love story ended epically. It was amazing. I didn't need to watch them slowly build a life together, cause you could imagine all of that with the little bit of closure that you got.

-David Brent (Michael Scott) was amazingly painful. And you know what, that's okay, because I received a very limited dose of him compared to what I've gotten from Steve Carrell. And in the end, he got to have a little bit of a character arc, so he went out on a good note, as opposed to me hating him.

-And you know how the American Office is shot like a documentary? Well in the British version the show actually aired and their lives were affected accordingly. Imagine if everyone on the American version saw what was happening on those tapes. Things would be much better. Or at least more interesting. (Michael would probably be fired, I mean seriously.)

The British Office was so well done, it makes me have higher expectations for the American one. So it's kind of starting to break my heart a little bit. But I love Parks and Rec, and here's why:

-Leslie Knope is awesome. Yes, she gets herself into some pretty awkward situations, but underneath it all, she's just trying to make people happy and do the right thing. Michael Scott's awkwardness stems from his super self-centeredness. Leslie is sweet and unintentionally funny (which makes her even funnier, as opposed to Michael) and though she's often completely unaware, she still tries to make the best of a situation and sticks to her guns (which I really like the fact that she has thoughts and beliefs, as opposed to just internet-inspired quips). She's often blindly trying to make her town a better place and instead of always putting people off, her naivety actually helps inspire others.

-Everyone else on that show is fucking hilarious. If The Office has turned into 'Jim surrounded by a bunch of Michaels', Parks and Rec is 'Kind-Hearted Michael surrounded by a bunch of Jims'. Even characters who are obnoxious in theory come off totally lovable. Take Tom: he's always hitting on ladies, he wears douchebag-pink shirts and he's always looking for the easy way out. But there's just something about him that's so harmless, it makes him plain funny.

-There's nothing epic that will have the potential to become annoying (i.e. Jim and Pam's love story). We've had Anne and Andy's relationship sort of fizzle, which was sad, and now she's dating Mark, which is neat but I'm not super invested yet, so if it goes south, whatevs. And this thing between Leslie and David is SUPER cute and it makes me really happy, but again, there's no crazy buildup around it so if it doesn't work out, that's okay, and if it does and they are just together and then get married and whatever, that's great, it'll just go with the flow of the show.

Maybe ultimately the difference is, The Office (both versions) is a show about the weirdness of working in an isolated environment, and how things that are very small can become very big because of that, so there's only so much it can do before it's repetitive. But since Parks and Recreation has been set up in a whole town, it doesn't have to rely on the super tense and emotional characters, plots and moments like The Office does.

But I plan to keep watching them both, but I'm much more looking forward to what Parks and Rec has in store.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Almost Died at Six Flags.

Okay, I didn't actually almost die, but it felt like I was going to. And I will get to that story in a moment. Let me start by saying that I love Six Flags. I know I'm kind of supposed to be a grown-up at this point, but I'm not and I'm not sure that I ever will be. But I'd never been to Six Flags Great Adventure, only the ones in Texas, and I was not disappointed. The park was nice, and since we went in the middle of September, it was a nice, cool day and the park was only half full, which was a definite plus.

Though the themes in the park weren't as strong overall as I've seen in other parks, the rides more than made up for it. This ride to the left, is the Bizarro, and I'd have to say it was my favorite. I've realized that I love roller coasters, but I hate falling (take a look at the Kingda Ka, which there was no way in hell I was going to ride it) so the Bizarro was a perfect ride for me. It does take you up really high, but then rather than dropping you straight down, it kinda twists and rolls and then goes into loops. You go through mist, between two bursts of fire and around this freezing-misting-flashy thing (as pictured) and the whole time Bizzaro talks to you via speakers by the seats. We rode it twice. It was fabulous.

My next favorite ride was the Superman: Ultimate Flight, and I'm sure it was Rickey's favorite. Basically you get strapped in and then turned so that you're facing the ground, then you ride up the initial hill (I'm sure there's a technical term for it) and all the while you're just hanging, looking straight down with nothing underneath you, as you're pulled a couple hundred feet (if it hadn't been for that part, this ride would've been my favorite). It was all very intense cause your body is pulling you down and you know you're super strapped in, but it's still a little unsettling. But then as soon as the car goes over the peak and starts falling, the gravity sucks you up into your seat and you really feel like you are flying. It was bad ass. We wanted to ride it again but unfortunately we ran out of time.

There were a couple more pretty cool rides, but I'm going to skip all that and get to the terrifying stuff. The second ride of the day (and this is like 11:30 am) was the Nitro (as picutred). It was a very long, ups & downs type coaster, and it seemed pretty simple. One part in particular was too simple: the harness. As you can see in the picture, the only thing holding you in is a little lap thingy. Well, when you are taken up 22 stories, and then dropped at a 30 degree angle, that lap thingy really doesn't do the trick. You come up out of your seat, and you can feel the harness moving slightly, and I know it's safe and it's not going to spring open, but it sure didn't feel that way. Every little hill was completely terrifying and I just couldn't enjoy myself. Had there been those fun chest harnesses, I'm sure this would've been a cool ride.

Now for the almost death part. Rickey thought it would be fun to ride the little sky tram thing (as pictured) and I thought, sure, that'll be fun and nice. I think I rode one when I lived in Germany, but I don't remember. Well, we get in a car, and after we're about 20 feet off the ground it hits me-- I have a fear of open-air heights. I'm not confronted by it too often but when I am, I don't handle it well (it goes back to the whole falling thing). So I'm breathing and internally calming myself down and Rickey's all excited and looking at stuff, and I realize we're going to be fine. And then BAM! the whole track stops moving. So we're hanging there, the other track is moving fine but we're just stopped. Rickey assures me it will be fine, but as the minutes pass, and the douchebag kids passing us are making fun of us, I start freaking out. Eventually a man on the speaker tells us we'll be moving in a few minutes, but then a few minutes later he comes on again and it seems like it's going to take a long while.

After a few more minutes we start moving again, but very very slowly. And then we stop again. The first time we stopped, we were on one of the steel beams, so should something go terribly wrong we're at least hanging on something. The second time we stop, we're just out there on the line, and now we're near a car of freaked out teenage girls who won't shut up and are making me freak out even more. We hang there for a little while longer, and I'm clinging on to the center pole for dear life, but I'm trying not to show Rickey how completely terrified I am, because he's totally calm and cool and I'm positive he'll think I'm big weirdo. So eventually they get us moving again, but still very slowly, and we finally get pulled in and get off the car. And I couldn't be more relieved. I'm sure it all sounds completely stupid and irrational, and it probably is, but hanging in a little cage a hundred feet off the ground while experiencing technical difficulties, well, it was rather unsettling. We move away from the ride and Rickey asks if I'm okay, and I am, and it turns out, he was just as freaked out as I was, but he didn't want to worry me more by showing it. And it's good he did, because I would have lost my shit if I knew he was scared too.

So anyways, the other parts of the day were all fun and fabulous. We had delicious burgers, saw a super fantastic tiger show and just had solid fun all around. And as a kicker at the end of the day, we decided to try to and win something from the boardwalk. First we thought about a stuffed animal, but then realized those were stupid. And there were these superhero capes that you could win, but you can buy them for almost just as cheap. And then I saw one you couldn't buy, and you had to win: a University of Texas cape (which is where I went to school). So Rickey helped me play the basketball-shooter game, and he won it for me! It's totally rad. Six Flags=WIN.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fables Casting Via Deadwood

I'm liking Fables less and less as the series goes on, but those first few volumes were really fantastic, and they have a special place in my comic book heart. So I'd been thinking of doing a Fables casting (especially with the shifting of power over at DC, there's a chance that this will be translated to TV or film), and a couple of actors from Deadwood popped into my head for certain characters. I then thought how cool would it be if everyone from Fables was pulled from the western epic, so here, enjoy.

(There are some potential Fables and Deadwood spoilers, so read with caution.)
Molly Parker (Alma Garrett) as Snow White-Alma ended up being a really interesting character in the show, and she balanced her soft, emotional side and her want to take her future(as well as the town's) into her own hands quite nicely. She held up as one of the leads, and whoever takes on the role of Snow White is going to have to do that.
Titus Welliver(Silas Adams) as Bigby-He didn't come on until later in the show, but he ended up being one of my favorite characters. He has the perfect balance of tough, sassy and quiet that I think really defines Bigby, plus the whole brooding and handsome thing.
Timothy Olyphant(Seth Bullock) as Prince Charming-I heart Timothy Olyphant. This doesn't really need much more commentary than that. I'm sure you all feel the same way, whether or not you've seen Deadwood.
John Eriksson (William Bullock) as Boy Blue-This is kind of a cheat, because he's really the only young kid on Deadwood, but he did a great job, and he's really sweet and innocent looking, so I'm sure it would work out.
John Hawkes(Sol Star) as Flycatcher-Fly is pretty reserved and quiet and in the background for a long time, but when he has his moment to step out, it's really nice. Hawkes very much played that role on Deadwood, and though he never really got to shine in an epic fashion, he had some really great moments and showed a lot of heart.
Ian McShane(Al Swearengen) as Pinocchio-This would probably be a voice-over kind of deal, but Pinocchio is so gruff and tough, even tough he looks like a little boy and I would just love to really push that with someone like McShane. He is the best.Gale Harold (Wyatt Earp) as Jack-He was only on the show for 2 episodes, but I've loved him so ever since Queer as Folk. He very much has that 'lovable rouge' thing going on, and can win the ladies over and swindle the fellas.
Kim Dickens (Joanie Stubbs) as Rose Red-On Deadwood, Kim Dickens played a character with a heart of gold who just couldn't get her shit together. And that's totally Rose Red. Also, she and Molly Parker could definitely pass for sisters.
W. Earl Brown (Dan Dority) as Weyland Smith-I loved Dan on the show. He's a great good 'ol boy, and he's tough and protective and does what needs to be done. He'd be a great Weyland.
Jeffrey Jones (A.W. Merrick) as King Cole-I always got this vibe that King Cole knew his shit, but was just a little flighty and out of touch. Enter the fabulous Jeffrey Jones (who up until Deadwood was only Lydia's dad in my mind).
Sarah Paulson(Miss Isringhausen) as Beauty-This casting is really more about everything that I've seen Sarah Paulson in. She's really beautiful, but very talented and I've never seen anything really badass in Beauty, but Paulson could probably make it so.
Garret Dillahunt (Francis Wolcott) as Beast-I feel the same way about Beast as I do about Beauty, but Dillahunt really pulled some awesome stuff out with his portrayal of Wolcott. He's not super beefy, so physically it's not quite a perfect fit, but I don't mind that.
Meghan Glennon (Lila) as Briar Rose-She didn't have a large role on Deadwood, but she pulled everything off quite well, and Briar Rose more than anything I think needs to be soft and sweet and feminine. She could totally do that.
Alice Krige (Maddie) as Frau Totenkinder-Totenkinder is awesome and you're quite sure which side of the fence she's on. The character of Maddie was very much the same way, and Alice Krige isn't super old, but I think she could really convey that creepily awesome vagueness.
Izabella Miko (Carrie) as Cinderella- So in the series, Cinderella is this super badass spy, and though Miko's character on Deadwood was nothing like that, she did really well. Her stint was short, but she went through a great deal of emotions so I'm sure she could pull it off. Plus she's got that awesome doll-like face.
Paula Malcolmson (Trixie) as Red Riding Hood/Baba Yaga-This casting is less about the first part, and more about the second. Baba Yaga hides in the form of this sweet young girl, only later to be revealed. Trixie on the show went through all kinds of levels of stuff, so I think she can do anything.
William Sanderson (E.B.Farnum) as Bufkin-Another voice-over job, William Sanderson was epic in his loserness. He's totally a down-his-luck, drunk flying monkey to be swarmed away.
Zach Grenier (Andy Cramed) as Kay- Kay is one of my favorite characters from the series, and if you've read it, you can understand why. Zach Grenier had some really great, compelling moments as Andy, so I would love to see him embody this character. He even kinda looks like him.
Powers Boothe (Cy Tolliver) as Blue Beard-Okay, Powers Boothe played a super badass, murderous character all the while being super charming and fabulous while he was on Deadwood. He's already played Bluebeard, he just doesn't know it yet.
Kristen Bell (Flora Anderson) as Goldilocks-Another short lived character, she was really great as the cute, sweet innocent girl who was actually something quite sinister. And that's what Goldilocks is in Fables.
Brad Dourif (Doc Cochran) as Gepetto-Brad Dourif was another of my favorites on Deadwood, and I was totally unfamiliar with him up until now. But he's epically awesome. And I don't want to get too spoilery, but Gepetto needs that kind of actor. It would be glorious.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Urban Malignancy

I recently read an article about the last surviving doctor who performs late-term abortions in America and I really recommend reading it. His name is Dr. Warren Hern and he seems like a really interesting person and what he's currently having to go through is quite saddening. But that's not what this post is about. In the article, there was mention of a paper Hern had written titled Urban Malignancy: Similarity in the Fractal Dimensions of Urban Morphology and Malignant Neoplasms (you can view the PDF file here, and I recommend you do because it's really interesting and I'm probably not going to do it justice). Basically the overall idea is that the way in which modern cities grow and develop is strikingly similar to the way malignant tumors and growths develop.

Here is an excerpt from the abstract that basically sums up the whole paper:
"From the point of the physician, the expanding, invasive, colonizing urban form with highly irregular borders resembles a malignant lesion. Malignant neoplasms have at least four major characteristics: rapid, uncontrolled growth; invasion and destruction of adjacent normal tissues (ecosystems); metastasis (distant colonization); and de-differentiation."
He lists these four qualities, because in order for a tissue irregularity to be deemed malignant, it must meet 2 out of 4 of them. He then spends the rest of the paper basically showing how modern cities meet all four.

He spends a long time talking about fractal geometry and about the fact that border irregularity is higher in tumors that are malignant as opposed to those that are benign. Similarly, the larger a city a grows, the more irregular the border becomes. Also, both urban communities and tissue malignancies send out satellites, suburbs or lesions respectively. Basically both urban communities and malignant tissues just grow out and out and out with no real purpose other than to just be, and if the main entity can't grow any larger, it sends out little ones to keep the growing going.

As for the de-differentiation (the simplification of cells and tissue to a simplified, unspecialized form), he mentions how once upon a time, ancient cities reflected the local culture in terms of layout and look. However, modern cities basically all look the same. There are of course minor difference, but the bigger a city gets, the more it tends to look like all the other bigger cities.

And of course, the main similarity between urban growth and malignant growth, is that it's just freaking rapid. He lists all kinds of specific examples and you can see in the photo above, how little time it takes for a city to just overwhelm an area. And here's an overall sum of the kind of growth he's talking about:
"Reflecting this is the fact that rapid urban growth has taken place in a context of unprecedented growth of the global human population, which has more than quadrupled in the century from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present-from 1.6 billion to more than 6.6 billion. The proportion of urban population, which was 220 million (13%) in 1900, has grown to 29% (732 million) in 1950, and 49% (3.2 billion) in 2005. By 2030, the 4.9 billion people living in urban agglomerations will represent 60% of the human population."
That's a lot of people in not a whole lot of time. And all of this ultimately is a metaphor, because no, urban cities are not cancers, but there are some really creepy similarities. It's hard to deny that any large city hasn't had a negative influence on the ecology surrounding it, and often even it's inhabitants. Malignant cancers grow and feed off the host until it is either treated or it kills the host. They grow and grow without stopping, until they are stopped by outside forces. What city has ever stopped growing unless it was physically stopped?

And here's the part that's somewhat unsettling:
"Death of the host organism in a cancer occurs between the 37th and 40th doubling of the cell population. The human population has doubled its numbers 32.5 times by 1999, but global energy use by human beings has doubled 36 times..."
I know I'm a massive cynic and I have a tendency to look for the bad in everything, but I'm pretty sure we're killing the planet. And I mean that in the least hippie-centric way possible.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Things That Make Me Go Hurm...

I apologize if some of these are a little old, but if they seem to be, good for you for reading the news!
  • Apparently scientists are on their way to creating a robot with a thinking brain. What good can come of this? I don't want to exhibit paranoia based solely on science-fiction, but come on!
  • This seems to have received a little more press than when I first found it, but a city in California shut down a little girl's lemonade stand because she didn't have the proper permits. I'm not sure if this is just an isolated incident, but even so, really? Let the kids sell lemonade. Everything will be fine.
  • There's a huge plastic patch in the ocean. It seems to be made up of little pieces of plastic from trash and debris, but it's hundreds of miles long. I'd really like for the planet to get to be saved, but sometimes it seems like we've already done too much damage.
  • Two things about youth and sex: 1. The magazine Christian Today, has published an article about how since its tough to be abstinent until marriage, they should just marry younger. Cause that won't cause anymore problems. 2. Candie's has been doing this since I was in high school, but the whole "I'm sexy and don't need to have sex" thing, seems a little contradictory. Let's all think back to 'virgin' Britney and what a great influence she was. Just let girls be girls and stop telling them they need to be sexy. Geez.
  • Palin won't shut up about the Death Panels. What really worries me is she may be gaining somewhat of a following. People seem to like her. Not a lot, not yet, but if this country's relationship with our president doesn't improve over the next few years, maybe she has a shot. That's scary.
  • Surprise, surprise. Texting may be making kids stupid.
  • Also in tech news, there was recently a Twitter blackout. And if you didn't notice, everyone freaked out. Here's the thing, I'm on Twitter (@Samicorn), I get it. I'm not super into it, but I understand the appeal and often usefulness of it. But the thing is, it's really new, and it frightens me how reliant we've become on this and other technologies that are also really really new. We jump on anything that's new and cool whether or not we figure out if it's good or resilient or whatever. It's all so new, we don't know all the pitfalls. What if the Internet were to just go down for a day? Wouldn't it be epic?
  • The number of Americans on antidepressants has doubled in 10 years. This isn't so worrisome on its own, because I know there are people who really need these types of medications and they can really do a world of help. I worry that it's not the people who need help who are causing the rise. In all likelihood, it would seem that people either just don't want to deal or function so they take the easy way out. And ultimately this boils down to me comparing us to Orwell's 1984.
  • Hey guess what!? We're running out of oil! Huzzah!
  • There's a study that basically says if we really want to save the planet, we need to have less children. That's kind of a 'duh' statement in my opinion, but it bothers me because people aren't going to do that on their own. They'll keep living and doing without thinking, so the only way to change that would be to put a law or regulation in place, and I know in this country, that would not go over well at all.
I know I'm a bit of a pessimist. However I keep myself sane by surrounding myself with shiny things and cute creatures. So if I've depressed you at all, watch this! It fixes everything!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Preacher Casting

Garth Ennis' Preacher is a fantastic series for those of you who don't know, and it's going to be made into a movie or series or something, so I recommend checking it out before that happens. But in the meantime, I'm throwing out my ideas for who should be cast. Agree? Disagree? Who would you pick?

Lucas Black as Jesse Custer

I have a feeling that the role of Jesse will be filled by a big manly movie star like Gerard Butler or someone like that. However, being from Texas and all, I know a 'good ol boy' when I see one, and ultimately that's what Jesse is (he just happens to obtain this crazy mega-power). So I pick Lucas Black. He's been acting since he was a kid, and though as an adult his roles haven't been the most impressive, he's done some pretty dark stuff over the years. He's handsome and charming and southern, so, why not?

Blake Lively as Tulip O'Hare

This was a little tough. There are a lot of grown-up actresses who would've been perfect for Tulip when they were younger, and trying to pick someone out of the new crop of actresses was difficult. I went through a few different people in mind, but then I saw a Gossip Girl promo, and though I don't watch the show, Black Lively seems to be a pretty capable actress. She also has an interesting look that Tulip needs; she's very beautiful all done up, but her facial structure is very strong and I think in the right situations, she could be fairly intimidating.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Cassidy

Originally my ideas for Cassidy were much older (i.e. Steve Buscemi), mainly because of the way he's drawn and his vicious nature. But then I remembered that he's supposed to at least look about the same age as Jesse and Tulip, so I started thinking about pointy faced talented actors from that age group. I've seen (500) Days of Summer and G.I. Joe in the course of a couple of weeks, and I love me some Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He's cute, very talented, and a little off-the-mark. I think as Cassidy, he could really pull off the charm and instant likability, but he's got the acting chops to go there with that character. You know what I mean.

Clint Eastwood as the Saint of Killers

Okay, so I normally try to think outside the box when I play my little casting game, and this is kind of stereotypical casting, but fuck it. He's the perfect person for this role, hands down, and I'm not even a fan of westerns (well, Deadwood is starting to change that, but whatevs).

Josh Peck as Arseface

With the obvious facial configurations of Arseface, really anybody could play him, provided they were in the approximate age range. I was really struck by Josh Peck's performance in the Wackness (I highly recommend checking that movie out) so I thought he might be a great actor for this part. He's cute, but not super-handsome to begin with, so that makes him relatable pre-Cobain incident. And assuming his role int eh Wackness
wasn't a fluke, he's a pretty good actor, so maybe he could pull off acting via gibberish and slurps.

Michael Keaton as Herr Starr

Right? I love Micahel Keaton and I wish he was doing more stuff cause for me he will always be both Beetlejuice and Batman, and that's just awesome. But he's got that great face that's somehow so normal but so evil at the same time. It just really sucks that he's doing stuff like Post Grad.

Wendie Malick as Marie L'Angelle

This character in the book really freaked me out. There's just something about a scary old southern lady who's balding and totally evil. But I kept picturing Nina from Just Shoot Me (what? it's kind of funny) as this lady. I'm not sure what her acting capabilities are, but she's the person who I very distinctly visualized as this woman so I'm going with it.

Jeffrey Tambor as God

Though God really doesn't show up all that much, he does some crazy stuff, and he has to be both superior (and probably CGI'ed) and a regular man. I'm a huge Arrested Development fan and I think Jeffrey Tambor has one of the greatest voices of all time. I think for this story, which sort of turns everything on its side, he would make for a really interesting God figure.

I would totally watch this movie.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sam and Rickey's Imminent Sway Twist

So for Rickey's birthday, I bought him Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist cause it's a totally rad movie (and the version I found came with buttons!). We already had the soundtrack and it is equally rad. So I had a thought to make him a playlist of our own and I named it Sam and Rickey's Imminent Sway Twist (what? it rhymes...). Anyways, I'm pretty proud of the selection so check it out below! (I have a zip file of all the tracks, but I don't know how well it translates...)

1. I Wanna Hold Your Hand-T.V. Carpio

2. Lost Coastlines-Okkerville River

3.These Days-Nico

4. Don’t Wake Me Up-The Hush Sound

5. Coz I Love You-Slade

6. King of the Bongo-Manu Chao

7. Anyone Else But You-Moldy Peaches

8. Across the Universe-Fiona Apple

9. Don’t Falter-Mint Royale

10. Twilight Showdown-Starlight Mints

11. Blind Mary-Gnarls Barkley

12. Got You Where I Want You-The Flys

13. I am a Pirate, You are a Princess-Texas

14. Yoshimi Battles the Robots-Flaming Lips

15. Another Day-Jamie Lidell

16. Somewhere Over the Rainbow-Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

17. God Only Knows-The Beach Boys

18. The District Sleeps Alone-The Postal Service

19. Ocean Avenue-Yellowcard

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Old School Hotness.

Alright. For those of you who don't know, the lady pictured is Raquel Welch and she was one of the hottest ladies from back in the day (the day being the 60's and 70's). She's still totally gorgeous as a grown-up, but she was once an uber sex symbol (you know that movie One Million Years B.C.? It was the one with the girl in the fur bikini and it was totally unrealistic--well she was the girl).

Well the other day I found the picture below from a posting on Tumblr (check me out) and I've seen it before and it's really fun and sassy, but this time I noticed something...
If you look in the photo below, I've highlighted what appears to be stretch marks and maybe cellulite. (*Please note that I am in no way trying to detract from Raquel Welch's hotness, just pointing out some awesomeness that no longer happens*).
The thing is, and I doubt anyone will disagree, that she is super hot in this picture, and the presence of a couple marks of imperfection doesn't really change that. When I came across this again, it was just really refreshing to think of images of celebrities that were untouched by Photoshop.

Probably about a year ago, my Rickey and I were in a music store and there was a postcard of Marilyn Monroe on a rack and he pointed out that she had a little bit of cellulite on the back of her thighs. I said 'Yeah, so?' getting ready to defend her awesomeness, and he remarked that he just didn't realize she wasn't this totally imperfect person, like celebrities are made to look like these days.

I recently read an article that Britain is looking to create a law that would ban photoshopping on ads aimed towards kids under 16, and also require disclaimers about other ads that might have been greatly altered. I, for one, am for this. I'm a big Photoshop fan and user, so I know it has some really cool benefits, but I know that it can be used to distort the truth, which can really mess with people's heads.

I'm for stripping away the bullshit. I want to see what people look like, and not in the weird tabloid-caught-off-guard way. Let's get back to old way of doing things--lots of make-up and crazy lighting. Make it happen.